Read Likeonomics to Learn the Power of Likeability

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LikeonomicsBefore you jump to any conclusions, Likeonomics is NOT about Facebook or clicking on “like” buttons.  Wait a minute.  Let me re-state that.  Likeonomics IS about hitting “Like” buttons – but not the Facebook kind – the emotional kind.  The kind that build relationships and get people to trust you and do business with you.  Likeonomics: The Unexpected Truth Behind Earning Trust, Influencing Behavior, and Inspiring Action is a new book by Rohit Bhargava (@RohitBhargava)

According to Bhargava, “Personal relationships are the only currency that matters.”  Likeonomics  begins and ends with this idea.    If you’re fond of saying things like “People buy from people they like”, then you will want to dig into this book with gusto because you’ll finally get some concrete data to support your cliché.

You can look at Bhargava as a sort of Mythbuster (like the TV show where they take common beliefs and myths and test them to see if they are true). In Likeonomics Bhargava goes through a variety of studies from Behavioral economics and psychology and explains:

  • Why unexpected honesty is a winning strategy
  • Why today’s challenge is to inspire people to believe
  • How research proves that we all need to be liked
  • The difference between being likeable and being liked

Rohit Bhargava is a “Likeable” Guy

When he’s not busy being likable, Bhargava is a marketing expert focused on helping to bring more humanity back to business.  He advises some of the world’s largest global brands on communications strategy through his role as a member of the strategy and Planning Group at Ogilvy. His thinking has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Fast Company and all those other media you count on to keep you up to speed on business.  He’s also spoken at TEDx, so you know he’s engaging. In fact, although he’s a marketing professor at Georgetown, Bhargava has built his brand around being an approachable and engaging guy.

Rohit Bhargava is more than likeable, he’s insanely curious about the unseen influence that we can exert when we truly understand “how the world works”.  And he’s focused that curiosity inside the pages of Likeonomics.

How You Can Be Likeable Too

Likeonomics is written in three sections:

  • Part I – The Crisis and the Solution contains three chapters that  discuss the general lack of trust and believability and how to move toward likability
  • Part II – The Principles introduces us to the core and foundation of the book– the 5 core principles of likability; Truth, Relevance, Unselfishness, Simplicity and Timing.
  • Part III- The StoryBook contains even more stories of Likeonomics in action

One of the chapters that stands out for me is the chapter on Truth.  Bhargava introduces something unexpected into this chapter — the power of Unexpected Honesty, Unbiased Fact and Proactive Integrity.  In this chapter, he shares stories that exhibit each of these characteristics and in so doing – teach us that when our business becomes more human and shares more of those human qualities, we connect with people and they become more open in listening to us.

Each of these chapters is filled with interesting stories about the people and brands that you’re familiar with.  In fact, as you read, you’ll likely remember a lot of these situations and finally understand what was going on behind the scenes to make you look at these brands more favorably.  Another structural element in Bhargava’s writing is that each of these core chapters is written using the same format.  This must be his professorial side coming through because I found it easy to read, process and remember the information for later use.

Who Will Enjoy Likeonomics

Likanomics is the ideal book to pick up for summer reading.  It’s easy to read, educational and if you decide to put some of the recommendations to work, you may just find yourself being even MORE likable.  This is another book that is similar in style and substance and Freakonomics because it takes research and uses it to show how our emotions impact our decisions about people.

I’d certainly recommend this book to business owners and managers — especially in B2B environments where it’s easy to think that pure technical performance drives customer buying decisions.  The usual suspects will love this book – sales and marketing professionals and all of us business book junkies.

If you’d like to get a preview of the book, check out the Likeonomics web site.  Once there you can check out some unexpected honesty about why you shouldn’t read the book as well as a free excerpt from the book.  If you want to get a flavor for Bhargava’s writing style, check out his blog Influential Marketing.

Likeonomics isn’t just a business book – it’s the survival guide for the new economy and rules of success.


Editor’s note: we realize that there are two spellings — likeable and likable. We’re chosen mostly to use “likeable” as it lines up with the author’s approach and the book title.

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Ivana Taylor Ivana Taylor is the Book Editor for Small Business Trends. She is responsible for directing the site’s book review program and manages the team of professional book reviewers. She also spearheads the annual Small Business Book Awards. Ivana publishes DIYMarketers, where she shares daily do-it-yourself marketing tips, and is co-author of "Excel for Marketing Managers."

6 Reactions
  1. Hi Ivana, I am really glad you reviewed Rohit’s book. I, too, got a copy and have been reading it, and finding that it matches up with what I learned a long time ago during one of my HR stints: the more people like you, the better they perceive your performance as a business person, and the more they want to work with you.

    – Anita

    • Hi Anita – I was really blown away by this book. It’s good to know how important it is to be likable. I do get concerned about where competence falls into the mix. I’m wondering how much likability it takes to overcome incompetence.

  2. Hi Ivana,
    Thanks so much for your kind words about Likeonomics and for this great review! I posted it on my site and it was really good to hear that you liked the book and found it useful. I appreciate your recommendation and am honored that you chose to feature the book here!