Dear CMO:

Forgive the blurry picture, above. This is about as clear as I usually see when I get my obligatory Tall Latte at my local Starbucks. I came across this the other morning and wanted to drop a note extolling the virtues of whoever put this together.

Did you know that Starbucks is just like you? They use 2% milk, too. You guys apparently have something in common! And that’s great. Consider the alternatives. They could have said, “We only serve 2% milk. Whole or skim on request (or extra).” They could have just switched and not told anyone. Clearly, someone at The Daily Fix would have seized on that given the clannish coffee culture there and possibly spun it into a conspiracy theory of some sort.

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Key Takeaways:

> Dr. Robert Cialdini’s “principles of persuasion” tell us that consistency is a core element of influence. By framing the reader on your side of the argument (whether you prefer your milk whole, skim, or 2%, in this instance), you increase the likelihood of their getting on board.

> What’s more, “like many of you” connects the message to the reader, which brings up the principle of liking. We tend to gravitate towards people most like us, from genetic markers down to, apparently, our predilection for 2% milk.

> We can even go so far as to link “many” with the element of consensus. When faced with uncertainty, we look to what other people (like us, who also go to Starbucks) do.

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This is a good thing. Starbucks has pulled you onto their own side of the discussion and let you know that, as a fellow 2%-er, they serve coffee your way. There is no unilateral action here. This almost has the feeling of collaboration.

There’s a lot in this four inch circular sign to appreciate.