Tiger are using “social proof”, but can they create “unity”?

On a recent cinema trip, I was having dinner with friends and we ordered Tiger which came in a tall bottle with “Bedok” printed below Tiger’s name and brand. The next bottle we ordered was a “Holland Village” bottle. For readers outside Singapore these are local areas in Singapore.

As it happens, I have been reading Robert Cialdini’s book Pre-Suasion which is a follow up to his classic book Influence (one of the best books on psychology ever written), in which he introduced “social proof” as one of the six universal principles of influence. While many brands use social proof in their marketing (e.g., “number one brand in Singapore” or with localized packaging), Tiger are tasking this principle to a new level by identifying not just with a country or city, but with individual communities.

Similarly, Coca-Cola and other brands have used the technique of labelling packs with personal names or family relationships, I think potentially Tiger’s approach has the potential to create a stronger sense of identity if used in the right way and consistently and incrementally over time.

In addition, this approach may also partly tap into a seventh principle of “unity” which Cialdini outlines in Pre-Suasion. He argues that “being together” and “acting together” over time incrementally build stronger bonds between people and groups that increase the power of principles such as social proof and reciprocity, encouraging people to act in more and more open and generous ways toward each other because of an increased sense of community / family.

A powerful marketing tool indeed!

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