Social and behavioral scientists caution that you must be careful when you use the “convert communicator” tactic. If the converts bash their own group too much, they lose persuasive powers and credibility. They must hold on to some essence of their original group identity while revealing this specific decision is about not being able to align that identity with this particular candidate.
Eric Johnson, professor of marketing and codirector of the Center for Decision Sciences at Columbia Business School, says this principle is known as self-congruence, meaning people must square their behavior and choices with their identity. How do you do that? “You tell yourself you are still a Republican but dismiss this out-of-favor candidate as not a real Republican.” Johnson also points out that successful convert communicators can give others permission to follow suit rather than feeling they are hanging out there on their own.