Is your marketing message sticky?

In this month’s Inc. Magazine, Editor Mike Hofman sits down with authors (and brothers) Chip and Dan Heath to discuss their views on what makes a marketing message “stick.”

The Heath brothers’ new book, Made to Stick (view their blog at suggests that in order for a message to make an impact, it possesses most of the following characteristics:Made to Stick

1. It is simple – How true. How many times have you been told to K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple, silly) when in debate of which path to choose? My personal opinion is that in order for a message to be effective, a 4th grader should have no problem “getting it.”

2. It’s a core message – Messages that really get to the heart of what someone in your target market deams important. Otherwise – “NEXT!”

3. It’s unexpected – Here’s where we as marketers get to be creative and why I love this business. Looking to build a buzz around your brand? Focus here (while making an extra effort to ensure you are subscribing to all other “sticky” suggestions).

4. It’s concrete, credible, and emotional – yes, yes, and yes.

5. It’s a story – we as a species (yes, this does transcend race, gender and creed and goes straight to humanity) love stories. Just watch the Discovery Channel and you’ll learn how modern humans survived because of our immagination and the ability to communicate. Stories are vital. Stories sell.

According to the Heath brothers, their favorite modern day example of these sticky suggestions is Subway’s Jared (the guy who put himself on the “Subway diet” and lost lots and lots and lots of weight). And the proof is in the pudding – this ad campaign “stuck”


Andrea Morris is a marketing coach who specializes in helping visionaries, entrepreneurs, consultants and small businesses use high-ROI strategies to get the right message to the right people. For more information, please visit