In this book, you’ll learn the triggers of instant appeal and why they have such power over us, as well as how can you use this information to advance your business, cause, company or product.

Why do we favor one brand over another, choose certain people as our leaders, and listen to the same songs over and over? According to Vicki Kunkel, mass appeal isn’t primarily about charisma or communication skills; the secret to who gets heard, what gets our attention, and who and what has staying power lies in primal conditioning—deeply ingrained codes we all unconsciously share.

Most of these codes are completely counterintuitive. For example, why do we believe in pandemics that aren’t real threats? Why do design flaws intentionally built into certain products make them more appealing than competitive products that have no such flaws? Why can a bumbling speaker be more bewitching than a silver-tongued orator?

Contrary to popular belief, persuasion is not psychological, says Kunkel. Persuasive people and products literally produce chemical changes in our bodies that, in turn, change our biology and our reactions to them.

Appealing personalities project universal codes that produce instant, biological and anthropological unconscious connections. These codes of attraction transcend logic and communication, and explain how our primal wiring decides whether to buy into an idea (or song or story or product) or dismiss it (or the person) out of hand.

“Once we can decode our primal conditioning and biological reactions to external stimuli,” says Vicki, “we can create ‘allegiance capital’: the ability to cement long-term loyalty.”

Based on extensive sociological and anthropological research, Instant Appeal reveals the eight primal factors that trigger responses deep in our DNA and cause us to develop an unwavering allegiance to a product, a person or a cause.

For example, you will find out why seating your audience in a semi-circle will cause people to be more receptive; why embracing your physical flaws and showing vulnerability heightens your attractiveness and trust factor; why using qualifiers such as “I think” and “I believe” causes linguistic subordination and weakens your message.

Understanding the codes outlined in Instant Appeal will help you learn how to mobilize large groups of people, how to get heard, and how to get people to stick with you for the long term. These universal codes of appeal can be applied to everything from politics to pop culture to consumer products.

Each chapter of the book ends with a practical application, showing how to implement the eight primal factors in your business and your life.

Filled with intriguing explanations of the phenomena associated with immediate and lasting attraction, this book will reveal how you can use the human universals—things that people across cultures find appealing or comforting—to win people over and achieve success in any arena.

Hardcover, 296 pages, $24.00;
Amacom, 2009