Monday, February 26

Yi-Tan Call - What Makes Stuff Stick?

Joined the call late...

Co-author Dan Heath:

New products offer new models which are often a challenge to introduce to the customer the first time out.

TiVo - had initial problems:
Unexpectedness - never knew that there was a technology to pause live TV - did not align the surprise value with the core values.

Not about supply-side ideas, it should be where the users hearts are. Pausing live TV - not so much. Season Pass - much more in tune with the users hearts. [Ed Note: I think this had to do with the features dominance, not the customer dominance]

Netflix - just recently started touting "no late fees". Initially, the pitch was about how many movies out. Netflix's model excluded the concept of "late fees" by definition. But the rest of the world worried about late fees (think about Blockbuster).

Jerry brought up Prius which had to advertise that you did NOT have to plug in the Prius like other EV cars.

Dan discussed the "Curse of Knowledge" - the more we have, the more difficult at understanding when you do not have the knowledge. This often leads to people explaining concepts that inexperienced people are unable to follow. When you are more aware, you have jargon and other terms to explain difficult or complex concepts and forget how difficult it is to understand "from the beginning".

Dan's son forgot "what is it like being a beginner" when explaining a video game console. Jerry brought up the best mentoring program tends to be the one where kids two years ahead help kids that are two years behind.

Six principles on stickiness - simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional, often explained as a story.

Unexpected is to capture attention - standout in a marketplace of ideas. Naked - to surprise people.

Web 1.0 stickiness was about being like gum on the shoe - we will wed ourselves into your life. Web 2.0 is more like loyalty, trustworthiness - we earn your trust and your reason to come back.

Urban legends is false - they are lurid, but they have stickiness. But it has nothing to offer the world. Ethics have to be in the mind of the people communicating. Bad ideas can stick better than good ideas.

Jerry: book he mentioned: food, nutrition and nutrients - graphical elements on boxes versus the "Silence of the Yams". Foods that are good for you do not have the flashy packaging.

"What are the best ideas that don't stick". Stickiness is ethics neutral.

Good examples of stickiness applied to social marketing - "the truth" campaign - the first campaign to put a dent in teen-age smoking. They have co-opted the typical appeal of cigarettes to teens. But they (the truth) shows the teens care about "rebellious act" - the fight is to fight against the tobacco companies.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest - they figured out that movie popcorn had a strange thing about them. The average bags has 37 grams of saturated fat - TWO DAYS of a normal persons intake of saturated fat.

They could have attacked the coconut oil, the movie theaters, etc - instead, they had a press conference showing that the saturated fat in a bag of popcorn was equal to a bacon and eggs breakfast, a Big Mac meal lunch and a steak and all the trimmings dinner - TOGETHER. How to fight without money - this was the idea with POWER. A well structured idea.

Pip: loves the examples in the book - the book reinforced that numbers are pretty useless.

Everyone has the instinct to use data in presentations. The conclusion about numbers are that they are INPUT not output. Use the numbers to get to the conclusion and then once you make the conclusion, talk about the conclusion - not just the numbers.

After WWII, the house parties increasing awareness of nuclear proliferation. Would have everyone close their eyes and tell them the next soudn they would hear was the equivalent of the atomic power dropped on Nagasaki and then would drop a BB into an aluminum pail. Next, the sounds of the atomic power on a nuclear submarine (and drop 5-6 BBs). Finally, to demonstrate the atomic power found in the nuclear arsenals of both the US and the USSR (and then would drop 5000 BBs).

While the numbers did not matter, the sounds difference was a vector of the two data points versus the actual numbers.

Ben from Ben and Jerry's - Cookies showing the size of the nuclear arsenal.

Jerry: Eddy Bernays - how he was able to make bacon a breakfast staple, even when it was the belly fat of a pig.

Pip: Al Gore - he took home the Oscar, is he using the techniques? Dan: Yes - most powerful sequence - about a third of the way in the movie. When he shows the time lapsed photos of the fact that global warming is here and now.

Small and steady warming - the net effect of the graphs - showing the effect of GW happening slowly and very far down the line. Al Gore says "now" - shows the Glacier Mountain National Park - showing the loss of the visual proof in your face.

Jerry: the carbon emission graph (with the lift) shows the example of a sticky use of a graph.

Pip: talking about rising tides - some say 8-20 ft, others say 1-2 ft.

Gore has a very large carbon footprint - personal jets, others.

Dan tells of a donation test with two versions of the request - 1) a letter telling about the large scale problems in Africa (100s of thousands) versus 2) a letter one girl who needed help in Rokia - twice as much money for the letter with the little girl.

Later, the tried two versions of the girl letter. One group was given SAT type questions (standardized tests), other group was primed emotionally (what words come to mind as a baby).

Results: almost double the amount with the "emotional priming" versus "analytical priming".

Jerry's favorite quote: Analytical thinking diminishes our charitable state of mind.
Seems to be a mutual exclusiveness - between an emotional state of mind and the analytical state of mind.

Jerry: we need to integrate the analytical and the emotional. "Crystallizing Public Opinion" by Eddy Bernays.

Think about the Reagan speech on the welfare mother who drives a Cadillac - the dark side of not respecting ethics - you can attach an emotional appeal on something that is not ethical.

Stickiness on the Iraq War - take a look at the piece. Give your thoughts.

Dan talked about the traits into things that share.

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