48 Laws of Power: Law #27 Play On People’s Need To Believe To Create A Cultlike Following

Law 27: Play on people’s need to believe to create a cultlike following

  •      People want to believe in something
  •      Become the focal point of this and offer them a cause, a new faith
  •      Keep your words vague but full of promise
  •      Emphasize enthusiasm over rationality
  •      Give your new disciples rituals to perform and ask them to make sacrifices

Not sure if this “law” applies to individual interactions as much, but for business/entrepreneurship it’s very powerful.

I think the best examples of those above are how someone rebranded age-old things and made billions based on people’s vanity and wish to be a part of a group:

  • Exercise. You can do it alone. You can do it outside. It’s an ancient activity. Yet Crossfit makes you pay $250 a month for someone to tell you how to workout and you can’t do your own workout. You wear knee high socks, a headband, only drink from an Herbal Life water bottle, and do kipping pullups. Crossfit doesn’t sell exercise; they sell peer approval.
  • Coffee. Back in the day, only old people drank coffee. The only time you saw coffee was in one of these types of machines. There was normal and decaf only. There was no such thing as ice coffee. Starbucks took something old and rebranded it. They aren’t selling coffee; they’re selling an experience (associating with other economically able people in a leisure activity).
  • Instagram. Long ago, you shared photos with the people in your life. Instagram allowed people to create their own mini cultlike following by letting people share photos with others who don’t know them. What they are selling is “envy”.


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