Review: Made to Stick–Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

5 Star, Communications, Education (General)

Made to StickExcellent Presentation of Core Ideas with Lots of Examples,

April 27, 2007

Chip Heath

This book is getting a great deal more attention than Allison Fine’s “MOMENTUM: igniting social change in the connected age,” so up front I want to say I consider them BOTH to be extremely complementary to one another, and MUST READS for any social activist or political reformer, as well as for those crafting educational or corporate messages.

I cannot improve on Brian Bex Huf’s review, which I voted for, but for the sake of coherence for those who are alerted when I do a review, here is the meat from Brian’s review:

* Simplicity: the idea must be stripped to its core, and the most important concepts should jump out.
* Unexpectedness: the idea must destroy preconceived notions about something. This forces people to stop, think, and remember.
* Concreteness: avoid statistics, use real-world analogies to help people understand complex ideas.
* Credibility: if people don’t trust you, they’ll ignore you. In some cases, they will be openly hostile, which means they’ll actively try to dispute your message!
* Emotional: information makes people think, but emotion makes them act. Appeal to emotional needs, sometimes even way up on Maslow’s hierarchy.
* Stores: telling a story [gets] people into paying closer attention, and feeling more connected. Remember the Jared Subway commercials?

The book ends with a five page reference guide that persuaded me of the author’s value as consultants. They have given us a low-cost book we can use our5selves, but I am also persuaded they are valuable as brain-stormers for those trying to craft transpartisan and electoral reform messages, so I am recommending them both to the leadership of Reuniting America.

LOTS of details and examples. Easily a five-star book with great social and political value.

Momentum: Igniting Social Change in the Connected Age
The Cluetrain Manifesto: The End of Business as Usual

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