I have been away from home for a while and my connection to the internet has been limited so I have been trying to catch up on some off-line reading. In between novels, I have managed to sneak in a few work related titles. One I just finished is called “Made to Stick – Why some ideas take hold and others come unstuck” by Chip and Dan Heath.
It’s worth a read.
These criteria are represented by “SUCCES” i.e. that a communications piece is
S = simple
U = unexpected
I won’t go into detail about all of these principles (go buy the book) but will cover a few things I took from it.
Firstly, some ideas on SIMPLICITY.
The “Curse of Knowledge” is discussed.
You tap your favourite tune with your fingers, you can hear the tune succinctly. Ask your friend next to you what you are tapping and as obvious as it seems to you, they will have absolutely no idea what tune you are tapping! Try it.
Simplicity is key! Don’t let jargon or your own knowledge and experiences abstract your message. A good idea should be both simple and also appropriate for every level of familiarity.
Spell out the benefits of the benefits.
People don’t want to buy drill bits that create big holes in the wall, but they will buy drill bits that create big holes from which they can hang their kids pictures from!
Features need to be obviously linked to benefits.
(WIIFY = What’s in it for you!) – Appeal to self-interest
Ie Don’t say “People will enjoy more security when driving wth Brand X Tyres”, but “YOU will enjoy more security when you …..”
Don’t bury your message in unrelated details! Find the lead of the idea and don’t let it get lost it in the detail. You don’t need to share all your information, only as much detail as is needed to support your single/main idea.
Some further ideas on an idea being EMOTIONAL.
“How can we make people care about our ideas? We get them to take of their Analytical Hats. We create empathy for specific individuals. We show how our ideas are associated with things that people already care about. 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” (From pg 203)
I think there is huge opportunity in this for brands. Aligning with a contemporary social or economic cause can do wonders for you brand – appealing to people identities and how they want to be seen or associated with.
Stories inspire and simulate, they are concrete and emotional, and usually have unexpected elements.
OK enough said…it’s a light read with some interesting case studies and exercises which may give you some insight on your communications and making your ideas stick!
UPDATE: also check out this good review of this book here in the context of blogging on Remarkablogger