Made to Stick
Chip and Dan Heath
By “stick,” we mean that your ideas are understood and remembered, and have a lasting impact—they change your audience’s opinions or behavior.”
6 Core Principles:
Simplicity – a one-sentence statement so profound that an individual could spend a lifetime learning to follow it.
Unexpectedness – keep an audience’s interest and curiosity, open gaps in our curiosity, and fill those gaps.
Concreteness – make the idea clear.
The curse of knowledge makes it hard for us to share information and teach that information, which is why it’s hard to come up with sticky ideas.
Simple – No plan survives contact with the enemy. No doubt this principle has resonance for people who have no military experience whatsoever. No sales plan survives contact with the customer. No lesson plan survives contact with teenagers. Find the core of the idea. Don’t Bury the lead, which means don’t forget to start with the message core first and leave the details for last. inverted Pyramid just like in the newspaper. Proverbs are short sentences drawn from long experiences.
Don’t Bury the lead, which means don’t forget to start with the message core first and leave the details for last. Make it an inverted Pyramid just like in the newspaper. Proverbs are short sentences drawn from long experiences.
Proverbs are short sentences drawn from long experiences.
A movie’s pitch High Concept ideas is to equate things in terms like Alien = Jaws in space.
Disney characters use generative analogies (patrons are guests, employees as cast members)
Unexpected – how do I get people’s attention and how do I keep it? After finding the core message, Figure out what is counterintuitive about the message—i.e., What are the unexpected implications of your core message? Why isn’t it already happening naturally? Then, Communicate your message in a way that breaks your audience’s guessing machines along the critical, counterintuitive dimension. Avoid common sense messages = instead of “Great customer service” is common sense. Warming customers’ cars in the winter is an uncommon sense. Keeping people interested involves opening a gap, leading to curiosity, and then filling that gap. The way to get people to care is to provide context.
Concrete – Concrete versus abstract. Why Asian students are learning better is because they learn by example rather than abstract terms or rote memorization. Get something to touch and feel rather than an idea that is abstract.
Credible – many factors discredit certain outrageous claims, such as bacteria causes ulcers. In order to defeat these haters, we have to do something concrete and credible. Authority figures also bring credibility and people with degrees hanging on the wall. Urban Legends can be stickier if they include some personal or local detail. Vivid details boost credibility. The Sinatra Test – if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere. Testable credentials – where’s the beef?
Emotional – calculations hinder our ability to feel. Focus on the one-person rather than the masses. Self-interest “Make your headline suggest to readers that there is something they want.” WIIFY – what’s in it for you? “Don’t mess with Texas” create empathy for specific individuals. “We appeal to their self-interest, but we also appeal to their identities—not only to the people they are right now but also to the people they would like to be.
Stories – the right stories make people act. Visualizations focus on the events themselves—the process, rather than the outcomes. Stories are like flight simulators for the brain. 3 Types of story plots – Challenge, Connection, Creativity. Springboard stories get people to act.
To make ideas stick, an idea has to make the audience 1. Pay attention, 2. Understand and remember it, 3. Agree/believe, 4. Care, 5. Be able to act on it