“Wonder why many big companies choose famous TV stars to appear in their commercials and not normal people? It's because those stars are famous. They represent wealth, reputation, skills, or popularity. When they endorse a product, you associate that star with the product. Hence, if you like the actor, you will get to like the product. And if you use the product, you tend to feel like the endorser too. This is the principle of association.
Big companies pay professional athletes large sums of money to wear certain shoes or clothes, endorse their perfumes, drive a specific car, or even eat certain foods. You might be wondering why these athletes are even asked to endorse products that are not related to them or their craft. As long as the association is positive, it is not necessary that the correlation between the sports star and the product be directly related.
Certain people choose their friends very carefully because the behavior or actions of the people they hang out with can very much reflect on them. If you have a friend who later became a criminal, you had better watch your back because those who want to avenge may pour their bitter revenge on you, no matter how innocent you are!
This is even more difficult if you have family members or relatives who portray negativities. Since we cannot choose them the same way we can select our friends, we are often strict in wanting our family members to conform to good moral values and ethics that reflect our own. Parents want their children to observe proper conduct because other people associate their children with their father and mother.
When their kids win contests or exhibit great talents, their parents are always proud to associate with them and say, “That’s my son (or daughter).”
That's the power of association at work, and it's not limited to people. In fact, you can associate the quality of a person, place, thing, event or anything you can think of, with the subject of your persuasion.
Just think about the clothes that people are wearing. What would you think of a person wearing a cross necklace? You would probably think he is religious. You might associate someone in military attire as disciplined and brave, while someone wearing shades as cool.
If you want to make them feel something they've experienced in the past, you may say something like, "Remember the last time we went nature-tripping? It was the most invigorating experience we've ever experienced, isn't it? We're going to experience it again in the trip we're going."
The purpose is to alter the mindset and emotion of the person you're persuading by using the right key of association.”-Page 2, “How to become an Expert Persuader in 20 Days or Less” by Mike Pilinski