By- Chip Heath and Dan Heath
Chip Heath is a professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business. He teaches business strategy and organizations. Dan Heath is a Senior Fellow at Duke University’s CASE center, which supports social entrepreneurs. Dan has worked as a researcher and case writer for Harvard Business School. He has also co-founded ‘Thinkwell,’ an innovative publishing company. They both have co-authored four books, one of them being ‘Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive, and Others Die.’ The book is based on the book written by Malcolm Gladwell, ‘The tipping point.’ In his book, Gladwell discusses why things go viral and how ideas gain momentum. He talks about the factor of ‘stickiness.’ This is the idea that the Heath Brothers built upon in their book.
As the name suggests, Made to stick – the book talks about how some ideas stick with people while others do not. The authors help the reader understand how to make ideas stick. The book starts with an introduction to the kind of ideas that stick. The authors talk about folklore and urban legends and dissect them to find out what makes people remember them. While doing so, they mention the ‘curse of knowledge.’ The authors discuss an experiment done by Elizabeth Newton to elucidate the concept. This experiment showed that the people who now find it challenging to communicate their ideas effectively. While on the other hand, because the audience lacks knowledge, they find the communication confusing and lose their interest in the idea.
These are Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, and Story. Simple means that are using the core of an idea and keeping it simple and compact. Unexpected brings out the element of surprise and also gets the attention of people and generates their interest. According to the authors, it is the knowledge gap that makes people want to know more. Concrete is to make the ideas specific, as abstract ideas would make people lose interest. Credible is to support one’s idea of the help of experts of influences. Emotional is to make people associate themselves with a particular idea. The Heath Brothers say that talking about what people would be interested in would also get them to pay attention. Lastly, Story means something that will inspire people and stimulate their thoughts, and inspiration can further lead to action. According to them, these principles would help communicators to present their ideas in a way that would make them stick.
The authors have dedicated chapters 1-6 to each one of these principles and how they can be applied. The authors also examples of how these principles can prove to be successful. Further, the authors explain how audience also plays a vital role in deciding what sticks and in what form. He explains this with examples of phrases like ‘nice guys finish last’ and ‘Elementary, my dear Watson.’
Overall, Made to stick – the book gives great examples of how to make ideas stick and also elucidates what works and what does not. Made to stick is an excellent resource for marketers and communicators. Go and read it!!
Related read – Books PR Professionals Must Read
Trupti Dhamija hails from Mumbai and is a student of Public Relations and Corporate Communications at School Of Communication and Reputation. What made her choose Public Relations is how dynamic and challenging the profession is. She has graduated with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Political Science, from the University of Delhi. She was also the President of her department in college. She has nine months of work experience as a content curator at Unacademy. Her hobbies include singing, painting, cooking, and riding bicycle. She aspires to join one of India’s top PR firm in June 2020.
This blog post originally appeared on Trupti’s Blog Page: