Top positive review
Stories stick, framework not so much
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on 25 March 2016
There are many a story – some purported to be facts – which we remember effortlessly and are able to recount for many years. What makes these stories stick? And while most of the stories have a tragic ending, can positive stories be created in a similar manner? And more importantly, can there be such positive brand stories which can stick with the consumer for a long time.
I am sure many , especially those who are in the marketing function, would love to create such sticky stories. And who does not like to create an idea which sticks. For all of us, Chip and Dan have brought us this book wherein they have distilled down their study of more than a decade into six principles of sticky ideas
1. Simplicity – Become a master of exclusion and strip an idea down to the core. Get to one sentence that is so profound that an individual could spend a lifetime learning to follow it
2. Unexpectedness – violate people’s expectation-generate interest and curiosity
3. Concreteness – explain the idea in terms of human actions, in terms of sensory information
4. Credibility - sticky ideas have to carry their own credentials
5. Emotions – Make the receiver feel something
6. Stories – have a story which someone can transmit (like the stories of Nordstorm – tire chains, wrapping etc)
The other gems from this book:
• Many a times, we have the curse of knowledge – which is accurate to the point of uselessness. Just give enough info to be useful, then a little more and then a little more. Use schemas effectively for this
• If you want your ideas to be stickier, you’ve break someone’s guessing machine and then fix it. But make sure you target an aspect of your audience’s guessing machine that relates to your core message (the case of “there is no school on Thursday” was very interesting, how to figure out the main point)
• Open a gap, build the curiosity and then give the facts to close the gaps. Need to convince the people that need the message
• Brown eyes, blue eyes as a case of Velcro memory
• Concreteness makes targets transparent – The case of Boeing 727 or Kaplan’s pitch to the investors
• Credibility – Researchers in Australia found that that Ulcers are caused by bacteria, but how do they convince the world. Took them 10 years to convince the world, and had to poison themselves for the same
• Statistics are rarely meaningful in and of themselves. It should be used to illustrate a relationship. What is more important is for people to remember the relationship than the number.(e.g : A deer is 300 times more likely to kill you than a shark)
• Build credibility through the Sinatra test – take a challenge of handling the most difficult situation and propagate that Success (Indian courier service – Safeexpress)
• Emotional – Individual appeals are more effective than mass appeals. When people think analytically, they are less likely to think emotionally.
• Simulation video by IDEO of a patient in a hospital driving employees to empathise with the customers
• Stories as mental rehearsal can prevent people from relapsing into bad habits.
• Story of Jared - sandwich helping to reduce weight – eat more to lose more
As one can see, there are a myriad of cases which Dan and Chip have examined and come out with a framework which is common in all.
But the moot question is whether the framework sticks in the mind of the readers of the book? To test that out, I am writing this summary after about 4 months of reading the book and am afraid, I could not recollect the framework much, though a few cases I could recollect on prompt.
So, about the book, I would recommend as it one good compilation of many cases where people have managed to get their ideas stick. It is possible that one might find some situations similar to their own predicament. The other good thing about this book is the clinic at the end of each chapter wherein a situation is outlined and the reader can draft their own response. Gives a good idea of how to make thoughts stickier.
I am going with 4 stars just for the sheer amount of research that has gone into the book.