Archive for August, 2012

Commitments, Towels, and “Two for One” Influence

 by Steve Martin, August 2012

Inside Influence Report regulars as well as readers of the book Yes! will be familiar with the wonderful series of studies conducted by Noah Goldstein, Vlad Griskevicius and Robert Cialdini examining which messages are most effective at persuading hotel guests to reuse their towels during a stay. (For those who aren’t, towel reuse rose by 26% when hotel guests were told, via a little card placed in bathrooms, that the majority of previous guests do reuse their towels).

These experiments have been widely cited in the academic, business and popular press and so when presenting them in talks and workshops I will occasionally encounter folks who are already aware of them. When that happens I might ask the group to think about how other principles of influence might be employed to encourage towel reuse. For example what would happen if a guest was asked to make a commitment to support environmental efforts before they had even reached their room, such as during the check in process?

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