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Newt Barrett

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6 Secrets to Make Your Content Unforgettable

“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.

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More Stories By Newt Barrett

Newt is a leading thinker on the new discipline of content marketing. He urges marketers to think like publishers by delivering essential, relevant, and timely information that makes customers smarter and wiser–and much more likely to become buyers. Newt is a successful publishing executive with more than 25 years of experience as both a manager and business owner. He has launched profitable publications in the high tech arena for both CMP and Ziff-Davis. He was an early player on the web in 1996 as Publishing Director of an early Yahoo competitor, NetGuideLive. As an entrepreneur, he launched Southwest Florida Business and BusinessNewsNow.com in the late nineties, later selling them to Gulfshore Media. His publication still thrives under its new name, Gulfshore Business. In addition to his sales and marketing skills, Newt is a published writer for Business Currents and Gulfshore Business magazines. He writes on topics as diverse as healthcare, education, public policy, growth, business best practices, and technology. He knows how to build great brands that serve client marketing needs. He is comfortable driving dramatic market-driven changes. Newt is recognized as a leader with the ability to move teams in new, unexplored directions. He is effective in high level sales and marketing conversations with senior executives in client organizations of all sizes. He delivers successful consulting engagements to improve products, people, and processes.