Concept: 6 principles of sticky stories.
Book: Made to stick
Author: Chip Heath & Dan Heath
Category: Self Development & Entrepreneurship
Rating of the concept: 8,5/10

Concept: 6 principles of sticky stories.
Apply this concept and you will change your way of communicating forever. The idea of the acronym S.U.C.C.E.S is an elaboration of Malcolm Gladwell’s concept of stickiness in his popular book ‘The Tipping Point’.
With S.U.C.C.E.S, Chip and Dan Heath refer with each letter to a characteristic that can help make an idea “sticky”:

  • Simple: find the core of any idea. You need to prioritize your ideas. Providing 10 arguments to a public is doomed to fail since people will not be able to remember them all. Be a master of exclusion and stick to the core.
  • Unexpected: grab people’s attention by surprising them. You need to violate people’s expectations with counterintuitive surprise. Generate interest and curiosity to endure your idea.
  • Concrete: make sure an idea can be grasped and remembered later. Explain in terms of human actions and use sensory information. Use concrete images and proverbs.
  • Credible: give an idea believability. Look for ways to help people test your ideas for themselves.
  • Emotional: help people see the importance of an idea. Let people feel something. Research shows that people are more likely to make a charitable gift to a single needy individual than to an entire impoverished region.
  • Stories: empower people to use an idea through narrative. Tell stories. Hearing stories acts as a kind of mental flight simulator preparing us to respond more quickly and effectively.

BooksinBusiness comment on 6 principles of sticky stories (S.U.C.C.E.S).
Even if you’re not in business, the S.U.C.C.E.S acronym can be seen as a powerful tool for selling your idea. Besides, everyone is a sales man, even a doctor.
When a doctor tells you to change your life style if you want to be fit when you are 70, the impact strongly depends on the stickiness of the message. Ask yourself if you would be more likely to remember his message after more than 20 years when it was a simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional story?

Currently I’m experimenting with S.U.C.C.E.S. for a sales pitch for one of the new service packages our management consultancy (PetreConsultants) is bringing to the market. The package we offer is a pragmatic implementation of the Howaboutsales software for SMEs. CEO’s and sales directors of SMEs are typically known for being pragmatic, to-the-point and by nature not really open to consultants. That’s why we realized that our sales pitch needed to be Simple and Concrete. This however is not enough to stand out of the mass. S.U.C.C.E.S helped us to identify the other elements needed to build a successful sales pitch: a story that’s unexpected, credible and emotional besides simple and concrete. For the emotional part, we can relate again to Simon Sinek’s powerful question ‘Why?’ activating the emotional part of the brain (limbic brain).
Watch how Dan Heath digs deeper into this topic in the context of another book ‘Switch’ written by the same authors. 

NB: I tried to apply S.U.C.C.E.S in the above first paragraph. Did it stick?

BooksinBusiness take-away:
Want to make your story sticky? Tell a story that is simple, unexpected, concrete, credible and emotional.