Crafting Purpose-focused Food & Lifestyle Brands

Book: Made To Stick, Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

I picked up “Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die” several weeks ago, and have been making my way through it. The book is by brothers Dan and Chip Heath.

Because we’ve been proponents of authentic storytelling as a communications strategy since we started our businees, it was particularly gratifying to read that one of the principles the authors list as being essential to stickiness is stories.

To illustrate their point they start their book with … a story. In this case, the book’s Introduction begins with a story about, of all things, the stolen kidneys urban myth.

(And we know a thing or two about kidneys – see our Gift of a Lifetime project).

Anyway, their point is that stories help to get people to act on ideas.

Brothers Heath go on to say this about stories, in Chapter 6:

“The story’s power, then, is twofold: It provides simulation (knowledge about how to act) and inspiration (motivation to act). Note that both benefits, simulation and inspiration, are geared to generating action. In the last few chapters, we’ve seen that a credible idea makes people believe. An emotional idea makes people care. And in this chapter we’ll see that the right stories make people act.”

Our take on this has been represented in our three word mantra, Inspire, Inform and Influence.

Through stories, we Inspire the audience to care, we Inform the audience about why they should care, and if we’re successful we Influence the audience to take action, be it buy a product, modify a behavior or support a cause.

Here’s the full set of principles the Brothers Heath describe in their book as essential ingredients of stickiness:

Principle 1: Simplicity

Principle 2: Unexpectedness

Principle 3: Concreteness

Principle 4: Credibility

Principle 5: Emotions

Principle 6: Stories

All in all, this is a great business book that’s very informative and enjoyable to read. It has excellent, concrete examples in support of its main points, and I’d recommend this to anyone who has an idea that they need be sure sticks …