Topic: Book Club

Stick: Most Challenging Sticky Element?

Posted by Anonymous on 500 Points
Which of the six elements of stickiness -- simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional or stories -- do you think is most challenging to put into practice? Why is that one so hard, and how can we make it easier to incorporate into our bag of tricks?

Moderator Note: This discussion refers to the book Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath (topic: communications). Click the title to learn more. Then join the conversation. We'd LOVE for you to participate!

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  • Posted by Matt Dickman on Accepted
    While all of the points work in conjunction with each other to result in the end message, I think it *has* to start with a simple idea. The rest of the elements of stickiness can fall into place, but they work better if the idea is stripped down to its core.

    That being said I think it is also the most difficult to implement for a number of reasons. First is the curse of knowledge. We are usually so close to our products and services that all of the ideas seem like they need to be in place. Having the ability to cut to the core is challenging. Second, we have to cut to the correct core idea. Any message can be simplified to a core idea, but is it the right one?

    When I ran through Chip and Dan's points I kept this one at the forefront. Having a core idea enables the rest of the pieces to fall into place more easily.
  • Posted by Mark Goren on Accepted
    I have to agree with Matt on this one. Simplicity should be at the core of every message. Even when you look at the clinics referenced throughout the book, they all (except for two) have one thing in common – and that's that they meet the simple criteria.
  • Posted on Accepted
    Just looking at the different discussions it looks like "simplicity"is the "it factor". And yet simple is far from easy to accomplish....but also looking around it seems that "stories" is the most challenging (being it brings all the elements together). Plus, in telling a story it's all too easy for mouthy marketers (like me) to complicate or go into too many details.

    So perhaps my answer to this challenging question is: a simple story. Sounds easy, eh? Anything but ;-).
  • Posted on Accepted
    Maybe the reason simplicity is so difficult is because there's also a need to make the message compelling, too.

    For instance, 2+2=4 is a simple message, but it doesn't shock anyone. It doesn't require any action on the part of the audience.

    "Milk. It does a body good," is similarly simple, but it's lacking other elements that would make it effective. The core message is as simple as it gets: "You need to drink milk." They could have rolled out scientist after scientist telling you that drinking milk is good. That wouldn't have made a difference, unless they were able to credibly say, I don't know, "Drinking milk will cure cancer."

    By contrast, the "Got Milk?" campaign includes other elements... Besides simplicity, it also includes unexpected concrete stories. Is it emotional? The commercials certainly tickle the funny bone. Does that count?
  • Posted on Accepted
    For me, unexpected is the most difficult to arrive at because you have to untrain your brain to get there. We are so immersed in the campaign - the statistics, the images, the polling data and more. We have so much sometimes that it is hard to imagine that people don't just get it... unfortunately they don't. It is that Curse of Knowledge, which is the bane of most of our clients existence.

    How do you separate yourself from the product and think creatively to find the unexpected? To me, that is the million dollar question.
  • Posted on Accepted
    The compilation of all of the concepts (Story) certainly is the hardest for us to accomplish. Unlike many tasks where once you have all of the components completed, the final product is easy to compile; Story has proven very difficult for us on repeated projects.

    Our hope now is that utilizing the very clear messages delivered in Made To Stick, our components will be better which will lead to an easier task of compiling an effective story.

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