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Likeonomics: The Unexpected Truth Behind Earning Trust, Influencing Behavior, and Inspiring Action

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Being more successful in business and in life often requires the same thing. If you want to do both, read this book!—Deepak Chopra, Author of The Seven Spiritual Laws Of Success

PRAISE FOR Likeonomics

"Rohit Bhargava's wise and wonderful book proves that your mother was right, after all: people respond to those who treat them right. Companies and organizations need to heed this lesson and use Likeonomics to steer their thinking on ways to ...

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Likeonomics: The Unexpected Truth Behind Earning Trust, Influencing Behavior, and Inspiring Action

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Being more successful in business and in life often requires the same thing. If you want to do both, read this book!—Deepak Chopra, Author of The Seven Spiritual Laws Of Success

PRAISE FOR Likeonomics

"Rohit Bhargava's wise and wonderful book proves that your mother was right, after all: people respond to those who treat them right. Companies and organizations need to heed this lesson and use Likeonomics to steer their thinking on ways to become more open, accessible, and trustworthy in the marketplace—and find success doing it."
Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and A Whole New Mind

"In Likeonomics, Rohit reinforces the popular notion that culture eats strategy and makes the case that likeability is an indispensable part of success. Rohit encourages us to create person-to-person connections that are authentic, relevant, and accessible. Gone are the days when alpha dogs rule. . . . In the era of Likeonomics, personal connection is king."
Jonathan Becher, Chief Marketing Officer, SAP

"Rohit Bhargava gets to the heart of what underlies and sustains relationships—likeability. If you want to be successful in business, don't leave trust to chance—keep Likeonomics and its online workbook close at your side and you'll be on the path to success."
Charlene Li, author of Groundswell and Open Leadership; founder, Altimeter Group

"This is a bold, fresh, and—most important—likeable book. Rohit reveals why networking must die, and the gap that should keep you up at night is your 'likeability gap.'"
Christopher Graves, Global CEO, Ogilvy Public Relations

"Likeonomics is the How to Win Friends and Influence People for a new generation. Rohit shows us how to be more likeable and believable and, as a result, more popular and relevant, which are the keys to success in any endeavor. Highly recommended."
Michael Port, New York Times bestselling author of The Think Big Manifesto

"If you want to be successful, you need to read Likeonomics! Rich in relevant, entertaining stories, and takeaways you can easily and immediately use, Rohit proves why being more likeable is the driving force behind building sustained relationships and exponential success."
Peter Guber, CEO, Mandalay Entertainment; author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Tell to Win

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118137536
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/22/2012
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 184
  • Sales rank: 672,765
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

ROHIT 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 & Planning group at Ogilvy. His thinking has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, Fast Company, NPR, and MarketingChina, and his first book, Personality Not Included, was translated into nine languages. Outside of his writing and consulting, Rohit is Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, where he lives with his wife and two sons.

Rohit is a popular "non-boring" keynote speaker who has spoken at TEDx, in Davos, and at hundreds of other events around the world.

To inquire about booking Rohit to speak, contact

For free online resources, visual chapters,and exclusive content, visit

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Table of Contents

Warning: Unexpected Honesty. . . xiii

Prologue: How a Lard Salesman, an NFL Agent, and a YouTube Star Explain Likeonomics xv

Introduction: Likeability, Rogue Economists, and the Lovable Fool xxv

Author’s Note: Why I Don’t Write about Synergy and Paradigm Shifts xxxix

PART I The Crisis and the Solution 1

Chapter 1 Inside the Modern Believability Crisis: How Rockefeller’s Dimes, War Propaganda, and the Marlboro Man Ruined the World 3

The Birth of Modern PR 5

#occupywallstreet 6

The Propaganda of Revolutions 7

When Advertising Ruled the World 9

The Mass Perception Principle 10

Marketing as the Bad Guy 12

Living in the Society of Distrust 14

What Is the Believability Crisis? 15

Solving the Believability Crisis 16

Chapter 2 Navigating the Likeability Gap: What Rwanda, Golf Courses, and Ocean’s Eleven Can Teach Us about the Decisions We Make 19

The Movie Man 21

What Business Are You In? 23

The Engagement Problem 24

The Reinvention of Rwanda 26

Humility Wanted 27

The Likeability Gap 29

The Toilet Business 31

Understanding Weak Ties 32

Golf and the Likeability Gap 33

Why Relationships Are Not about Networking 34

Getting Julia Roberts 36

The Age of Equivalence 37

How Originality Died—and How We Can Get It Back 39

The Differentiation Ideal 40

The Likeability Gap and the World 42

Chapter 3 The ROI of Likeability: Why Spreadsheets Need to Die, Websites Stink, and Likeable Politicians Always Win 45

The New Stupid 46

The Sexiness of Analytics 47

Data Overload, Insight Underload 48

Four Ways Data Becomes Meaningless 49

Rethinking ROI 50

The Flip Side of Data 51

Why Context Matters (and Your ‘‘Sticky’’ Website Actually Stinks) 52

The Real Reason Likeable Politicians Always Win 53

Why Results Matter More than Data 54

The Five Principles of Likeonomics 55

PART II The Five Principles of Likeonomics 57

Chapter 4 Truth 59

Oprah’s Secret 60

Are You Building on a Sinkhole? 61

The Lie Doctor and the Dalai Lama 61

Empowerment versus the Anti-Truth Policy 63

Embracing Your Inconvenient Truth 64

Selling Cardboard 66

Why Being Truthful Is So Hard 67

The Three Elements of Truth 68

Chapter 5 Relevance 73

The Relevance Challenge 75

Canada’s Favorite Storyteller 76

Handshakes in Kazakhstan 78

The Renaissance Banker 80

Making the Bank Relevant Again 81

Everyone Who Matters Knows You 81

Why Is Relevance So Hard? 83

The Three Elements of Relevance 84

Chapter 6 Unselfishness 89

Creating an Ideal World 90

The Ethical Warehouse 93

What about the Selfish Gene? 94

Wikinomics and the Rise of Collaboration 95

Finding the Altruism Gene 96

Do Doctors Need to Be Competent and Kind? 97

Why People Don’t Sue Likeable Doctors 99

How the Unselfish and Compassionate Will Rule the World 101

How Japanese Citizens Responded to Disaster with Unselfishness 102

The Customer Service Revolution Will Be Twitterized 105

Why We Are Selfish 106

The Three Elements of Unselfishness 108

Chapter 7 Simplicity 111

Desperately Seeking Simplicity 113

The Plain Language Movement 114

The Myth of Good Complexity 115

Gadget Confusion 116

Flipping the Video Camera Market 118

Winning on Simplicity 119

How Simplicity Inspires Trust 121

How Orange Got People Saving Again 122

Hypnotizing Chickens 123

How Napkins Can Explain Health Care 124

Why Simplicity Gets So Complicated 126

The Three Elements of Simplicity 127

Chapter 8 Timing 131

The Most Creative Lunch in History 133

Timing Is Everything 135

How Sweetening Changed Television History 136

Our Time-Shifted Culture 137

Gilt and Luxury with an Expiration 137

The Rise of Shopper Marketing 138

Google ZMOT 139

Why Timing Is So Tough 141

The Three Elements of Timing 142

Conclusion 145

Living in the Era of Likeonomics 146

Likeonomics on Mulberry Street 147

PART III The StoryBook 149

Introduction: How the StoryBook Works 151

Bhutan: The Real Happiest Place on Earth 153

Green Bay Packers: Why Cheeseheads Rule the NFL 155

Khan Academy: Flipping the Rules of Education 157

Maverick Adventures: Kitesurfing with Richard Branson 159

Anupy Singla: The Fast Rise of Slow Cooking 161

The Backstory: The Making of Likeonomics 165

Special Thanks 167

Notes: Further Reading and Research 169

About the Author 173

Index 175

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2013

    Just OK

    The book was heavily focused on why likeable people/companies are successful. After reading this book, I believe that is true. That being said, I would have liked instruction on how to use this quality in different professional and social settings, like job interviews.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 29, 2012

    While we are busily measuring everything that can be measured an

    While we are busily measuring everything that can be measured and trying to figure out what it all means, we are missing something that cannot be measured and is very relevant: human connection. It does not have to be physical (though it helps), but you have to connect to the people you are talking to, whether it is through social media, a boardroom presentation, or just at the bar or cafe.

    This book offers some great explanations and examples of why being liked matters as much (sometimes more) than being good, and why this unmeasured quantity has measurable results. It is a very quick read, so you can go through it a few times with relative ease to digest all off the information that as being offered. It also offers online exercises to help you improve the traits that are discussed in the book.

    I highly recommend this book to anyone who has to deal with people. And we all should be.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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