6 Elements to Create Sticky Ideas

40353 2020-04-18 20:38

Why some ideas survive while others die? Two principles: being memorable and making people eager to spread. In the book Made to Stick, the authors have summarized six elements to make ideas stick, SUCCES for short, which represents Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, and Story.

Simple - Cut down to the key message of an idea

Too often, we want to explain an idea thoroughly, but revealing too much detail is not good for people to understand. They will soon forget all the details and even the core message. We should simplify our message and understandably convey the idea, just like journalists would create good headlines for their reports to grasp readers’ attention.

Unexpected - Draw people’s attention by surprising them

The human brain would neglect selectively to things familiar to save energy. Only something surprising can draw its attention. The fact implies sticky ideas are also unexpected. It proves to be effective to use curiosity gaps to grasp attention. If you present some surprising facts or statistics in your idea, curiosity will drive people to get more information.

Concrete - Use concrete materials to be understood and remembered

Abstract terms are hard to understand, let alone to be remembered. When communicating an idea, we would better use concrete and understandable terms, along with examples and descriptive imagery.

Credible - Make an idea believable so it can spread

Ideas ought to be credible if they want to be spread out. Generally, there are three ways to add credibility to a plan. The story has experts or people with relevant experiences to back up Use realistic facts and statistics to add credibility to the story Encourage the audience itself to be a reference

Emotional - Appeal to people’s emotions rather than present dry data

Imagine we have the campaign to ask people to donate to starving African children. There are two options: presenting the population of starving children, or showing a picture of a child in need of a donation. Comparatively speaking, people are more likely to take action upon the latter because it appeals directly to human emotions. Therefore sticky ideas should focus on emotional triggers instead of dry facts.

Story - Inspire people to action by telling a story

It is a common mistake to focus on an empty slogan without any story when people are communicating ideas. A slogan is sticky, but it can not inspire people to take action like a story. For example, Subway has benefited immensely from the true story of Jared Fogle, who was an overweight man but managed to slim down by having two Subway meals per day.


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