Book Summary: Made to Stick

Chip and Dan Heath believe Mark Twain was correct when he remarked, "A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can even get its boots on."

Because of their best-selling book Made To Stick, Chip and Dan have become the de-facto sticky brothers.

"Urban legends, conspiracy theories, and bogus public-health scares circulate effortlessly," they write on their website. And I'm sure a lot of you have already seen it.

Meanwhile, individuals with essential ideas, such as business people, educators, politicians, and journalists, struggle to make their ideas stick. It's an interesting issue, to be sure.

According to Chip and Dan, the solution is their success philosophy. That's S-U-C-C-E-S for short. You may omit the last S, and it will stand for simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, and emotional stories.

They're a wonderful place to start when generating and recognizing concepts that are spreadable, contagious, and sticky.

And I believe that we could all use a little more of it these days. These concepts are summarized in the following sections. We've humbly contributed our own ideas, as always, so we hope you like them.

Principle #1: Simple

The first success concept is to keep things simple. Sticky should be straightforward.

We must be masters of exclusion to create a memorable idea. "If you make 10 arguments, the jury won't remember any of them, even if they're all solid points," a successful defense lawyer once stated, and I used to be a lawyer.

But we must be careful not to conflate simple with unsophisticated. Bill Clinton's presidential campaign in 1992 provided one of the most famous examples of a simple notion that says it all.

James Carville, Clinton's righteous campaign manager, used the slogan, "IT'S THE ECONOMY, STUPID!" to encourage his supporters to focus on what was essential and quit trying to seem too clever.

This basic notion, according to others, kept Clinton and his team focused on essential subjects and away from distractions, ultimately earning him the presidency.

And we all know what happened after that. As a result, concentration is one step closer to being sticky.

Principle #2: Unexpected

A man is standing on the space with flag.

Unpredictability is the second success principle.

JFK delivered a speech before a special session of Congress in May 1961. During his address, he discussed various aid initiatives, including extending NATO and establishing television and radio stations in Latin America and Southeast Asia.

"I think that this nation should commit itself, before the end of this decade, to landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth," he added as he neared the end of what might be called a normal speech to Congress.

How's that for a pleasant surprise? To make the surprise stick, you'll need to backfill some substance.

People must think it is possible. The objective isn't only to capture people's attention; it's also to hold it.

Our minds are built to notice unusual things, which is why unexpectedness works so effectively.

And when those Congressmen - and the entire United States of America - are listening to Kennedy deliver a speech, you anticipate all of this stuff about NATO alliance, building television and radio stations, etc.

They aren't expecting him to announce that we will send a man to the moon. No one has ever gone there before.

So keep this in mind while you create your marketing story, your advertising image, or even when giving a speech to your staff. If you stay away from the jargon and clichés, you'll be able to discover something really unexpected and sticky.

Principle #3: Concrete

A markerter do a presentation infront.

Concreteness is the third success principle. Our brains are built to detect differences and recall specific data in the same way they are wired to perceive differences.

As a result, that Guinness book, Letterman's top ten list, and even the stickiness of your own phone number have all been successful. Concrete data is easier to remember since it is frequently connected with other sensory cues.

So I'm going to ask you to complete this little test developed by David Rueben, a Duke University cognitive physiologist. It will just take around thirty seconds to complete. Are you prepared? So, let's get started.

Make the first sentence of Hey Jude come to mind. Now think about the Mona Lisa. Now think back to the house where you spent most of your youth. Now think about what truth means.

Okay. Immediately, associations will most likely spring to mind. You've seen the Mona Lisa's expression while she's looking at you. The first few bars of McCartney's baritone from Hey Jude come to mind. It might even be the scent of your childhood home.

The definition of truth exercise, on the other hand, is unlikely to have produced anything specific. Why? It's because it's an abstract idea, not a tangible one.

Consider this in terms of your most recent sales pitch, marketing article, or anything. You only have a few seconds to make your argument, so make it count. What associations do you have in mind?

Principle #4: Credible

Credible technology presentation by the expert.

The fourth success principle is trustworthiness.

Eighty-six percent of all data is made up. Consider that for a moment.

We're wired to notice differences and trust facts in the same way we're wired to see differences. There's something about data bits that makes us remember them. Of course, organizations worldwide have hopped on board, spitting figures, lists, and factoids of all kinds.

The most important thing you can do to improve your credit is to use facts meaningfully. Here's a wonderful example from Stephen Covey, the author of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

He converted a statistic from meaningless to meaningful in his book The 8th Habit, and here it is.

Here's the completely pointless section. "Only 37 percent of people said that they have a clear understanding of what the organization is trying to achieve and why." That most likely doesn't mean much to you.

He, on the other hand, transformed this into a delightfully sticky idea. Put this one on to see how it fits. Only four of the eleven players on the pitch would know which goal is theirs if a soccer team had the same score.

Are you able to tell the difference?

Principle #5: Emotional

A man having his on tought.

The fifth success principle is to make things emotive.

"Logic leads to conclusions, and emotion leads to action," says Donald Cowan, a Canadian neuropsychologist. As it turns out, emotion appears to be linked to increased expenditure.

People were given $5 to spend on an African children's charity in a Carnegie Mellon research. One group is sent a letter with data regarding the issues that youngsters face.

Do you recall the statistics section? You want to know what happened when another group was given a narrative about a specific child, and you want to know what happened?

The average donation was one dollar and fourteen cents from those who studied statistics.

People who read the narrative, on the other hand, donated an average of $2.48, more than double the amount. Why? We're only human.

Human tales connect with us, and emotional pleas stick in our heads, affecting our actions. It's a clear foundation for marketing, but where else can you use it in your organization?

Is it possible to utilize emotion in storytelling to make your next PowerPoint presentation even stickier? We believe you can.

Principle #6: Stories

Writing storytelling concept.

Storytelling is the sixth success principle.

Who is that person, and why is he wearing those pants? Jared is the persistent Subway sandwich guy, for those who listen to the audio. He dropped 245 pounds by eating just subway sandwiches. Yes, that's a difficult situation.

Take all of the ideas you've learned over the last few pages and minutes and combine them into one sticky tale. The tale of Jared.

Let's have a look at how it compares to the success principles.

The first is simple: the guy eats sandwiches and loses a lot of weight. Boom! You've completed the task.

Two, it's a surprise. This narrative challenges our preconceptions about fast food.

I'm sure everyone has watched Supersize Me, and the guy who eats at McDonald's for a month and nearly dies. That's how we feel about fast food: it'll kill you eventually. This isn't the case.

Number three is concrete, with a weight loss of 245 pounds. That's very solid because if you're anything like me, you're probably thinking to yourself, "Man, that's more than most people weigh."

So I have an idea of what two hundred and forty-five pounds signifies in my head. It's a substantial amount of weight.

It's plausible, number five. Anyone can do it if a guy in size sixty jeans can do it and lose a whole human being from his body.

Finally, as we all know, it's a tale. This tale was one of the most effective advertisements because it was straightforward, surprising, concrete, credible, and emotional.

So, what are your company's success stories? Are they straightforward, surprising, concrete, believable, and emotionally appealing?

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