Another great book from the brothers Heath.
It is interesting to note that in retrospect the lessons of “Stick” have had such an impression on the authors that their follow up “Switch” (which I reviewed here) is all the better for it.
The concept of “stickiness” is lifted wholesale from Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, but its practical applications go further, from my understanding that Galdwell’s popular work.The basic premises is that stories, personal connections, are what make ideas stick not great raw facts. This has huge implications for marketers and managers. The book delves very deep into why this concept works and does give some great real world examples as you would expect from a book with such a central theory.
Where the book really succeeds, is in it’s ability to predict where ideas will work or not. There is a great example about a journalism class and being able distill ideas, or stories, down to their most basic essence. Another frequently used example is Southwest Airlines who’s most basic mission statement “The Low Cost Airline” informs everything they do. This mission statement becomes a simple idea, that can answer complex questions and can direct behavior.
An intriguing part of the book, and also an excellent framing device, is the use of urban legends and why they succeed where other news items, education, and presentations don’t. If we could make our ideas like urban legends our work as managers, marketers and educators is 90% done.
Switch is the better read, but stick is the more intellectual and deeper work and also have the potential to be significantly more important.
(Clicking on the cover above will take you to the book’s Amazon page and contribute to my book buying habit / problem.)