Instant Appeal: The 8 Primal Factors That Create Blockbuster Success

Instant Appeal: The 8 Primal Factors That Create Blockbuster Success

Instant Appeal: The 8 Primal Factors That Create Blockbuster Success

Instant Appeal: The 8 Primal Factors That Create Blockbuster Success


What do the runaway success of E. T., Oprah, and the Cabbage Patch Kids have in common? How come Scrabble was a flop when first introduced, but became an instant hit when re-introduced just three years later? According to extensive research, the secret to who gets heard, what gets our attention, and who and what has staying power lies in deeply ingrained biological and anthropological codes we all subconsciously share.

Filled with fascinating examples and explanations of the phenomena associated with "stickiness," Instant Appeal reveals the often surprising (and proven) reasons behind why we vote for certain people, listen to the same songs over and over again, and favor one brand over another. The book illuminates the hu-man universals that cause positive and negative chemical reactions in our brains, and shows how anyone can use them to advance their career, cause, company, or product.


Judy was depressed. She recently left her six-figure C-suite executive job at a large downtown financial services company that she held for over 15 years to start a boutique furniture store. It boasted high-end, ultramodern couches, chairs, tables, end tables, nightstands, and art in a hip section of the city. As we sat eating lunch, she told me the reason for being so bummed: Six weeks after her grand opening, she hadn’t sold a single piece of furniture.

“I don’t know what’s wrong!” Judy sighed. “I did my market research and the products and pricing should be right in line. The people who come into the store seem to be the right demographic. What’s going on? I know the economy isn’t the greatest right now, but my customers have a pretty healthy disposable income. I can’t afford not to have this work out! I put everything I have into this.”

As she talked on, she told me that customers would come into the store, walk around the entire space, even stop and, as she said, “look at something, pretending to be interested,” then would ultimately leave without buying anything.

Because I had helped her former company successfully implement primal branding techniques—marketing strategies that align with our innate preferences and fixed primal triggers—she thought I may be able to offer some advice. But the first thing I needed to do was visit her store.

On a bright, sunny Saturday afternoon, I walked up the sidewalk to her storefront. The signage was fantastic, the curb appeal was great, and the window displays were well done. As I stepped across the . . .

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