Cigars & Scotch: A Case Study on the Power of ‘Social Influence’

Seth Knapp | @iamsethknapp

Founder |

Snapchat: iamsethknapp

This weekend I received a Snap from a friend of mine..  The Snap was a photo of a bonfire with the message on it “smoking cigars and drinking scotch”.

To most guys, a reaction of possible jealousy would ensue, envy possibly, or just a thought of how good it feels to smoke cigars and drink scotch with a group of guys.  (I actually text him back telling him I didn’t need to know who he was with because I knew it was a group of guys).


Because of the power of social influence.

My friend, who rarely sends SnapChat’s felt compelled enough that this experience was so noteworthy that he should capture it and send it to me in the form of a Snap.


Because there is a general consensus among most guys at least what “smoking cigars and drinking scotch” means.  It makes us feel classy, nostalgic, and important, like we’re going to solve the world’s problems over this glass of whiskey and hand rolled tobacco.

Me, well my mind goes to different places when I see this.

If they happened to be sitting around a fire smoking Marlboro Red’s and drinking vodka, do you think I would have gotten a Snap from him?

Fuck no.


Because it doesn’t emobody the same feelings that smoking cigars and drinking scotch has on us.

So is there realy something so super special about smoking cigars and drinking scotch?

Fuck no.

We as consumers have been fed a feeling that surrounds the idea of smoking cigars and drinking scotch and we’ve bought into it hookline and sinker.

But that’s okay, because 99.9% of all decisions we make are a result of some level of social influence.  Even when we make a decision that’s different from the trends or what’s cool, often times it’s made with the conscious decision to be different, which means it’s been influenced by society.

I guarantee the moment I mentioned drinking vodka and smoking cigarettes by a campfire you instantly had a different feeling about what was going on around that campfie, even though it wouldn’t have technically changed anything.

Instead of solving the world’s problems, these gentlemen are probably now talking crude in deep raspy voices and acting immature right?

This is just one of thousands of decisions we make and things we buy into that are a result fo social influence, and again, that’s okay.

The mission here is to make us aware of it because as entrepreneurs, professionals, and those in relationships, the more we are aware of how we function, the more we can also use it to our advantage.

Life is sales.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a 10 year old kid trying to convince your parents to let you stay out an extra hour or an account executive trying to close $10mm deal.

If you can make everyone feel like they’re smoking cigars and drinking scotch, well then, you can be the conduit to those good vibes for everyone else.

If you’d like to read more about the influence of a significant other, feel free to check out 5 Unequivocal Reasons my Girlfriend is the Best Lifehack Ever



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