“Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert B. Cialdini

“The key to successful leadership is influence, not authority.”

~ Ken Blanchard

Of course, there are different ways to analyse and understand the quote.

However, one has to admit that being able to influence and persuade others is one of the most important skills in business and life. And even if you are sceptical about the idea, I would recommend you reading the book just to know when someone tries to manipulate you.

Nobody likes being manipulated. Yet, it is happening on daily basis, even when you are walking down the street or doing grocery shopping.

“Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” gives you a great brief of the science behind the influence and I would surely recommend you to read it.

Having said that, if there is just one book you would like to read about the subject, I would recommend more “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnagie.

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Luxury – Show me, don’t tell me

Does a true luxury really need an explanation?

Recently I have seen lots of buses that had written ‘Luxury’ either on their side or on the front window. What struck me the most though was the fact that those were some old coaches that I would never consider as luxurious ones.

So it made me think…


I don’t know about you but I am surely going for the black one!

But wait, it doesn’t have the label “Luxury” so how can I be sure it is better than the other, which clearly says it?


I realised that you know a product is luxurious when you see one, no matter if it is labeled as such or not. And this is a beauty of luxurious products. They stand out and you know after looking at them that it is something special.

My belief is that we tend to overuse the word “Luxury”, especially in the world of new fashion brands who want to gain more customers and to justify their high prices. I don’t know if it works for them or not, but I personally think it is an easy path that too many brands follow which causes the deflation of the meaning of the world.

Maybe in the past luxury stood for high-quality. Nowadays, when everyone can use it without any consequences (because how do you define a luxury product? And also, to be fair, you are not going to sue someone for selling you a product that is labeled as luxurious but in fact does not meet your expectations) it is not enough to just put a label on it.

Even more, I believe it is counterproductive and you would be better off trying to show your luxury instead of telling me about it.

Think of a luxury brand. What comes to your mind? Prada, Louis Vuitton, Channel and others I guess. Then go to their website. Not a single of them will use ‘luxury” on their website (maybe very rarely).

Because they don’t have to!

Then go and check the new leather brands or fashion brands in general that were created in the last 10 years. My bet is that the more expensive ones, most of them, will use that label a lot.

But do they have to?

If their products are amazing, if they work hard and position themselves well, eventually they will hopefully break into the market no matter if they are called luxurious or not. If on the other hand, their products are not great, then they are just lying to their customers. Not good enough.

So, what would I recommend?

If you are starting or working on a fashion brand that aims to be the luxury one, prove me that you are worth the price, not just tell me about it by using “Luxury” in every second sentence of your website.

How do you do that?

Create amazing products and work on your positioning. How?

Here are few books that can help you with that.

Update 1: I am very excited to share with you that over the last few months I have been working on a luxury fashion brand and every day I had in my mind this article.

Check it out to see if I succeeded to stand behind my words: https://goblackwood.co.uk

Feel free to also have a look at my newest article about the sad truth behind the leather industry. https://goblackwood.co.uk/vegan-leather/

Photo Credits:

  1. Photo was taken from http://www.singaporemalaysiabus.com/luxury.html
  2. Photo was taken from http://www.vip-shuttle.com/details.html
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“The Inevitable” by Kevin Kelly

Have you ever wonder what is the future going to look like?

We live in the exponential times there the technological progress takes us to the completely new levels of understanding and innovation. Would you guess 30 years ago that our whole society will be connected to the Internet, that the electric cars will be a normal sight on the streets and technologies like Blockchain, AI and VR will not be a sci-fi scenario anymore?

The question is now, what is going to be next? There are still many things to be invented and fields to be disrupted.

Kevin Kelly, which has an astonishing record of predicting stuff, gives us his answer to the question.


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“ISIS: The State of Terror” by Jessica Stern and J.M. Berger

Would you ever guess that one of the factors behind the “success” of ISIS is the way they utilise social media?

Most of the other terrorist groups, especially the Islamic ones, consider social media as a wrong thing from the west, while ISIS is connecting with its followers and recruiting new ones through twitter and other websites.

This is just one of the things that differentiate ISIS from other groups. But there are more.

To understand the origins and core beliefs of ISIS, I would recommend “The ISIS Apocalypse”, while to know more about daily operations of the group, “ISIS: The State of Terror” is a perfect match.

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