“So easy even a caveman could do it.”
“Where’s the beef?”
“Eat Mor Chikin!”
What is it about these phrases and accompanying images from classic Geico, Wendy’s and Chick-Fil-A commercials that made them so memorable? And, for many of us, make them unforgettable today.
In the classic 2007 best-seller, Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, Chip and Dan Heath explain brilliantly why such “sticky” ideas escape the dustbin of history and provide a framework that enables us to communicate more effectively.
“Regardless of your level of ‘natural creativity’ . a little focused effort can make almost any idea stickier [and] more likely to make a difference,” they write.
Six core concepts underlie the creation of sticky ideas that last. They also form a sticky acronym: SUCCESs. Ideas must be simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional and tell stories.
- Simple, as in Southwest Airlines’ mission to be known as the low-fare airline.
- Unexpected, they write, “because surprise makes us pay attention and think.”
- Concrete. As an example, we can easily and vividly describe a watermelon, which has plenty of hooks in our memory, but we might have trouble defining the concept of “truth.”
- Credible, which is the secret behind “where’s the beef.” Simple observation showed that Wendy’s burger was big.
- Emotional. For instance, an Army chef in Iraq, driven by the mission that he is in charge of morale, ran a gourmet mess hall that created an oasis in the desert for troops.
- Stories: Think David and Goliath. We all know and remember the story. And, we love it because the little guy beats the big guy.
If you want to create sticky ideas that can make a positive difference for your organization, grab Made to Stick. It’s just as valid and powerful today as it was in 2007. They show you that it’s so easy even a caveman could do it. Well, almost as easy.