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Made To Stick: 5/25 Introduction

May 24, 2011

Hello, fellas. We’ll be at Missouri Funeral at at 7:30 a.m. this week. If you want to participate and have not picked up your copy of the book, you can read the introduction here: http://www.heathbrothers.com/madetostick/chapterone.php

SO, YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE.

From Tom:

For Wednesday, May 25, please read the Introduction.

From the authors: The book opens with the famous urban legend about the business traveler who accepts a drink from an attractive stranger, only to lose consciousness and wake up in a bathtub full of ice—without his kidneys. Why does a false idea like the “kidney thieves” story circulate so effortlessly, when so many of us fight in vain to have our ideas stick?
A sticky idea is one that is understood, remembered, and creates some kind of change—in opinion, behavior, or values.

We begin to show that dissimilar ideas—say, the kidney thieves tale and a non-profit campaign warning about the fattiness of movie popcorn—have certain traits in common. In studying a panorama of ideas, ranging from urban legends to ad campaigns to proverbs, we’ve identified six traits that sticky ideas share. They are: SIMPLE, UNEXPECTED, CONCRETE, CREDIBLE, EMOTIONAL, and STORY.

Discussion questions:

1) The Brothers Heath provide several examples of urban legends, proverbs, and ads that are sticky. Can you give specific examples of sticky messages that you have seen recently in your business vertical? Or in general? What traits of stickiness did they exhibit?

2) The authors cite a research study that shows that there are a few templates that are responsible for lots of successful ads. They say a “color by numbers” approach may actually be desirable. Do you agree? Why or why not?

3) Has the ‘curse of knowledge’ impacted your ability to effectively communicate to your audience (customers). Is this an opportunity to create sticky ideas?

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