In One Ear, Not Out the Other

Creating Messages That Stick

2/27/2017 Digital Marketing

We’ve all heard the statistics, we live it out IRL every day. It’s no secret that our minds are on information overload. From the second we wake up and open our eyes-- and phones (admit it: it was the first thing you squinted at this morning), we are almost instantly exposed to a non-stop flow of messages--10,000 a day to be exact. Some are blatant, others subliminal, but either way, we are being bombarded. We can run, but we can’t hide, amiright? 

So with all this mind clutter, how do marketers create meaningful messages that stick around in the minds of the consumer? The purpose of these messages after all is to thrive not die three seconds post-exposure, right? Luckily for us, the majority of “sticky” ideas generally reflect similar characteristics to one another. Dan and Chip Heath conveniently compiled these 6 components together in their book, “Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die”. So, what are these components and where can we buy them?! Spoiler: you can’t. But you can use the following checklist as we’ll call it, as you mold and sculpt your ideas to become those that spread like wildfire, as opposed to those that smolder and burn out. 

6 Things That Make an Idea Sticky:

Simplicity- Make it easy for anyone to understand. Remove the complexity and your concept becomes more universally understood.

Unexpectedness- Make it surprise your audience. Allow your message to jolt your audience out of the mundane and into action. 

Concreteness- Make it paint a vivid picture. You know what you want your audience to think about, so define it rather than leaving it abstract and open for interpretation.

Credibility- Make it believable. Allow your idea to carry its own credentials.

Emotions- Make it full of “all the feels”. People are wired to be emotional beings. We are meant to feel things and act on emotion. It’s hard to feel things for abstract ideas.

Stories- Make it easy to be retold. People recall stories in much more detail than they do facts and numbers. Give them a storyline to follow and remember. 

By cultivating ideas based on these principles, marketers can jolt consumers out of auto pilot and into manual control. Ideas that contain these stickiness factors break through the clutter and invoke action rather than blend into the other 9,999 messages that day. 

Marketers, get your hands dirty… er uh, sticky!


Digital Marketing