What Makes an Idea to Stick?
According to Chip and Dan Heath, co-authors of Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, it takes 6 elements to make an idea sticky or last longer. For an idea to be sticky, it must be simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional and have a moving or inspiring story.
For an idea to be simple it must be concise and clear. We run into simple ideas everyday in the form of tag lines, slogans, and newspaper leads that say it in one sentence.
In the military, commanders use what is known as Commander ‘s Intent (CI), in communicating complex instructions. A CI, is a simple statement that is unambiguous and yet clear enough.
If an idea does not get your audience ‘s attention, it will not stick. Thus, a key part of stickiness, is the element of surprise that grabs and keeps someone ‘s attention.
Without getting an audience’s attention, you have no chance of being remembered at all.
Ideas can be made concrete through the use of metaphors. Metaphors help your audience to understand your ideas by association. Effective metaphors must be familiar and intriguing to your audience. This enables them to make the leap in understanding or in grasping a concept.
People will remember what is both credible and valuable. Thus, to strengthen the stickiness of your ideas, you must ensure they carry authoritative support for their veracity and authenticity. Credibility can be enhanced through the use of third party (independent) sources.
For an audience to care about an idea, you must work at making it emotionally relatable by personalizing or individualizing it. It is important to understand the emotional needs of your audience in the context of Maslow ‘s Needs Hierarchy. For your ideas to stick, address needs that are relevant to a specific audience.
To get your audience to act, you have use stories because good stories inspire and motivate people. The beauty about stories is that they put knowledge into the context of everyday life. If your goal is to inspire, use challenge stories like David vs Goliath; such stories exemplify courage in the face of adversity.