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Summary of the Book Made to Stick


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One of my favorite book about marketing is Made to Stick from the fantastic Chip Heath and Dan Heath. This presentation is an overview of the book explaining what makes an idea or concept memorable or interesting.

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Summary of the Book Made to Stick

  1. 1. #context Tipping point
  2. 2. #context Morton Grodzins
 Metropolitan Segregation (1957) The expression comes from physics where it referred to the adding a small amount of weight to a balanced object until the additional weight caused the object to suddenly and completely topple, or tip. Most of the white families remained in the neighborhood as long as the comparative number of black families remained very small. At a certain point, when one too many black families arrived, the remaining white families would move out en masse in a process known as white flight. He called that moment the "tipping point".
  3. 3. #context Malcolm Gladwell
 The Tipping Point (2000) 3 rules of epidemics
  4. 4. #context Connectors are the people in a community who know large numbers of people and who are in the habit of making introductions. Mavens are "information specialists", those who are intense gatherers of information and impressions, and so are often the first to pick up on new or nascent trends. Salesmen are "persuaders", charismatic people with powerful negotiation skills. They tend to have an indefinable trait that goes beyond what they say, which makes others want to agree with them. The success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts 1. The Law of the Few
  5. 5. #context Human behavior is strongly influenced by its environment. 4:10 2. The Power of the Context
  6. 6. #context The specific content of a message that renders its impact memorable. Popular children's television programs such as Sesame Street and Blue's Clues pioneered the properties of the stickiness factor, thus enhancing effective retention of educational content as well as entertainment value. 3. The Stickiness Factors
  7. 7. #context
  8. 8. A businessman, frequent traveler was returning from a meeting with clients, and he stopped at the airport bar. An attractive woman approached him and offered to buy him a drink. He took a sip of his and… that's the last thing he remembered until... #context
  9. 9. #context
  10. 10. #context Why does it stick? How can I make anything stickier? Millions of ideas are born everyday, some of them survive and other die.
  11. 11. #quick test 37 grams of saturated fat How to make it stickier?
  12. 12. #quick test
  13. 13. Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away — Wind, Sand and Stars, Saint Exupery (ch3, p60) 1. Simple
  14. 14. “When we understand that slide, we’ll have won the war” — General McChrystal
  15. 15. #simple What have they in common?
  16. 16. Decision paralysisIf everything is possible you don’t have freedom, you have paralysis. Everybody needs a fishbowl. #simple
  17. 17. #simple
  18. 18. #simple Revenue decreases when there are too many choices.
  19. 19. #simple SIMPLE COMPLEX is not the opposite of
  20. 20. #simple complexity of the 
 presented idea complexity of the reflexion SIMPLE COMPLEX SIMPLISTIC FRAUD it’s the planning process that is useful not the comprehensive plan
  21. 21. #simple SIMPLE= Finding the Corethe single most important thing you want to communicate
  23. 23. #simple complexity of the 
 presented idea complexity of the reflexion SIMPLE COMPLEX SIMPLISTIC FRAUDeverything that’s beneficial everything that’s critical = core
  24. 24. #simple SIMPLE= Core + Compactthe single most important thing you want to communicate Paradoxically, simple is in fact it’s a bit more complex
  25. 25. #simple SIMPLE everything that’s critical Core Start cooperation and continue to do so until one of the four tests below fails. 1. First impression: A defection on the first move is unacceptable. Revert for tit-for-tat. 2. Short term: Two defections in any three turns is unacceptable. Revert for tit-for-tat. 3. Medium term: Three defections out of the last twenty periods is unacceptable. Revert for tit-for-tat. 4. Long term: Five defections out of the last one hundred periods is unacceptable. Revert for tit-for-tat. The law of talion (an eye for an eye) Compact
  26. 26. #simple Proverbs are short sentences drawn from long experience Cervantes said
  27. 27. #simple POMELOS USE SCHEMAS KNOWLEDGE build on the existing of your audience How would you describe it?
  28. 28. #simple The pomelo (Citrus maxima or Citrus grandis), is a citrus fruit native to South East Asia. It is usually pale green to yellow when ripe, with sweet white flesh and very thick spongy rind. It is the largest citrus fruit, 15-25 cm in diameter, and usually weighing 1-2 kg. Pomelos are super-sized grapefruits vs “
  29. 29. #simple Use analogies & metaphors. Subway employees = “sandwich artists“ Asos = Amazon of clothes
 WebSchoolFactory = french version of Stanford
  30. 30. two roles: “tapper” and “listener“ chose a well-known song
 and tap out the rhythm on a table. guess the song What’s the probability that the listener guess your song? #simple
  31. 31. The Curse of Knowledge When a tapper taps, it is impossible for her to avoid hearing the tune playing along to her taps. Meanwhile, all the listener can hear is a kind of bizarre Morse code. The problem is that once we know something—say, the melody of a song—we find it hard to imagine not knowing it. Our knowledge has “cursed” us. — Elizabeth Newton, 1990. Overconfidence in the communication of intent: Heard and unheard melodies. unpublished doctoral dissertation, Stanford University #simple
  32. 32. #simple SIMPLE = Core + Compact Your Ennemies: 1. the beneficial 2. the decision paralysis 3. the curse of knowledge Your Allies: 1. the critical 2. schemas 3. analogy & methapors
  33. 33. Remember what Saint Exupery said. Simple
  34. 34. Eventually you just have two jobs: getting interest & maintaining interest. 2. Unexpected
  35. 35. #unexpected 2.1. Getting Interest Try to figure out how do you do that.
  36. 36. #unexpected 1. Getting Interest Try to figure out how do you do that. One (easy) way to do it is posing a question.
  37. 37. #unexpected Break a pattern.
  38. 38. #unexpected Use contrast
  39. 39. #unexpected Write the lead of this newspaper story: “Kenneth L. Peters, the principal of Beverly Hills High School, announced today that the entire high school faculty will travel to Sacramento next Thursday for a colloquium in new teaching methods. Among the speakers will be anthropologist Margaret Mead, college president Dr. Robert Maynard Hutchins, and California governor Edmund ‘Pat’ Brown.“ 1/3
  40. 40. #unexpected A good journalist gets the facts & reports them. To get the facts, you track down the five Ws: Who, What, Where, When, and Why. CLUE 2/3
  41. 41. #unexpected Best lead: There will be no school next Thursday. Beak schemas. 3/3
  42. 42. #unexpected
  43. 43. #unexpected 2. 2. Maintaining Interest
  44. 44. #unexpected Open a knowledge gap. The most successful author all began with a mystery story. Think crime novel.
  45. 45. #unexpected Quizz What are the rings of Saturne made of? a. gas
 b. dust particles c. ice crystals
  46. 46. #unexpected Quizz What are the rings of Saturne made of? a. gas -> Cambridge
 b. dust particles -> MIT c. ice crystals -> Cal Tech
  47. 47. #unexpected Quizz What are the rings of Saturne made of? Answer: ice covered dust
  48. 48. #unexpected Unexpected Break patterns, schemas & use contrast. Make knowledge gaps.
  49. 49. 3. Concrete
  50. 50. #concrete One hot summer day a Fox was strolling through an orchard. He saw a bunch of Grapes ripening high on a grape vine. “Just the thing to quench my thirst,“ he said. Backing up a few paces, he took a run and jumped at the grapes, just missing. Turning around again, he ran faster and jumped again. Still a miss. Again and again he jumped, until at last he gave up out of exhaustion. Walking away with his nose in the air, he said “I am sure they are sour.“ It is easy to despise what you can’t get. — The Fox and the Grapes, Aesop.
  51. 51. Beware: the conclusion is in the story but the story is not in the conclusion. #concrete Concreteness is a terrific way to dispel the curse of knowledge!
  52. 52. #concrete Kennedy: “Landing a man on moon  and returning him safely to the earth “ instead of “strategically targeted aerospace initiatives“ illustration + vivid target
  53. 53. #concrete SPECIFIC
  54. 54. #concrete Break vast things into small tangible things 1B revenue IN 5 years 2 NEW CLIENTS PER DAY VS
  55. 55. #concrete THE VELCRO THEORY OF MEMORY It feels different to remember different kind of things. Memory is not like a single filing cabinet. It’s more like Velcro. Remember the capital of Kansas
 Remember the first line of “Hey Jude“
 Remember the Mona Lisa Remember the definition of truth Rememer the definition of watermelon
  56. 56. #concrete Concrete vast things into small tangible things DEFINE SMART GOALS VELCRO THEORY OF MEMORY
  57. 57. 4. CREDIBLE This is how much sugar a child will get from milk in 5 years of elementary school — Jamie Oliver (TED)
  58. 58. #credible Do you know who’s better than Van Damme?
  59. 59. #credible
  60. 60. #credible THE ANTI- AUTHORITY Renowned expert, public figure or Nobel laureate Real peoplevs
  61. 61. #credible The homeless support organization who used formerly homeless men as drivers to pick up financial supporters at the airport
  62. 62. #credible VIVID DETAILS The Darth Vader Toothbrush — Jonathan Shelder & Melvin Manis, University of Michigan, 1986
  63. 63. Experience to simulate a trial. Jurors had to assess the fitness of a mother and to decide wether her seven-year-old son should remain in her care. 
 The transcript was constructed to be closely balanced. There were 8 arguments against and 8 arguments for.
 All the jurors heard the same arguments. The only difference was the level of details. Eg: “Mrs Johnson sees to it that her child washes and brushes his teeth before bedtime“ VS “He uses a Star Wars toothbrush that looks like Darth Vader“.
 A suitable parent? Verdict: 5.8/10 (vivid details) vs 4.3/10 (normal details) —> 35% increase!!
  64. 64. #credible The Sinatra Test If you can make it in NYC, you can make it anywhere If you’ve done encryption for the NSA, you can do it anywhere. when one example alone is enough to establish credibility in a given domain.
  66. 66. 5. EMOTION
  67. 67. Truth Campaign Remembered spontaneously by 22% of kids Kids exposed were 66% less likely to smoke Two years later, smoking had dropped 18% in high school
  68. 68. Link things people care with others they (yet) don’t care.
  69. 69. WIIFM What Is In For Me 1. Use the world “You “ 2. Make them visualize themselves experiencing the benefit.
  70. 70. People > Abstraction Story about a young girl from Mali: average donation = $2.34 Statistics about the magnitude of the problems facing children in Mali: average donation = $1.14
  71. 71. People > Abstraction Invoke anger, empathy… EMOTIONS. WIIFM LOLCats Use things people care
  72. 72. 6. STORY
  74. 74. #story FLIGHT SIMULATORS Stories are basically That keep us engage
  76. 76. PRINCIPLE 1 SIMPLE PRINCIPLE 2 UNEXPECTED PRINCIPLE 3 CONCRETE PRINCIPLE 4 CREDIBLE PRINCIPLE 5 EMOTIONAL PRINCIPLE 6 STORIES © 2008 by Chip and Dan Heath. All rights reserved. Do not replicate without written permission.
  77. 77. Check our my other presentations! click click click click
  78. 78. co-founder of daphni,an European VC fund @willybraun willy (a) follow us! (twitter, facebook, newsletter)
 recommended readings: in the “Storytelling / content marketing“ section Willy Braun