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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Made to Stick: Post #5--Credibility

Credibility: Most of us know that experts carry credibility and that such credibility generalizes. That’s how Michael Jordan can sell Hanes underwear! But there are other ways to get credibility, such as, offering… concrete examples, riveting demonstrations, analogies and context, and personal stories. I recall a memorable “sticky” ad about drugs. They showed a raw egg and a voiceover said, “This is your brain.” Next, someone fried the egg and the voiceover said…”This is your brain on drugs!” The image was literally seared into my brain and FAR better than a raft of statistics about how drugs can hurt us. Another example can be found on page 144. Stephen Covey (in The Eight Habit) writes about a study of 23,000 people concerning understanding company mission and goals. He first provides an impressive list of statistics, but then puts it into a soccer team analogy that makes the statistics come alive. For example in the statistical recitation he talks about only 37% of people have a clear understanding of what an organization is trying to achieve. In the analogy, he explains it this way: ‘If say a soccer team had the same scores, only 4 of 11 players on the field would know which goal was theirs.” Now that’s compelling and memorable—sticky!

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