Plot Your Messages

There’s a reason that history is known from ancient storytelling that was passed down  generation to generation. Throughout the entire book, the Heath brothers mentioned different quips or nursery rhymes that were told from Aristotle or Aesop that have made their way through time and are still relevant and told to people around the world. This is all proof that the final word, stories, in the acronym SUCCESs are undoubtedly the stickiest messages made.

Of course there a hundreds of ways to tell stories, so the Heath brothers broke down some of the most common ways to tell them to ensure they are sticky. The first one is to take the challenge plot. The challenge plot is pretty self explanatory: you have a protagonist that overcomes a challenge. An example of this would be the story of celebrity Marie Osmond and her connection to Nutrisystem, a diet plan that helped her lose weight. In Nutrisystem’s commercials that feature Marie Osmond, such as this one here, Osmond tells the story of the day she realized she was 50 pounds overweight. After she decided to join Nutrisystem, Osmond lost the 50 pounds. In this scenario, Osmond was the underdog who succeeded. She’s been a sponsor for Nutrisystem since 2013 and is still remembered for those commercials today because of the sticky messaging of the challenge plot.

Another plot that tends to be extra sticky is the connection plot. In this storyline, the protagonist and another character from a different background form a connection. Since I wrote about Airbnb the other week, my mind tends to go to their company when I think of this concept. Airbnb didn’t only build a campaign around the concept of building these connection, they built their entire company platform around the idea of making connections when you travel across the globe by staying in other people’s bed and breakfasts.

The final storyline the brothers spoke about is the creative plot. This story involves a protagonist that forms a mental breakthrough or an innovative idea. To me, the company Tesla comes to mind. Owner Elon Musk has a long history of innovative ideas, such as autopilot vehicles. His ideas and the work of Tesla are especially sticky because his ideas are inventive and implemented.

The best part about using stories to create sticky messages is that good stories usually rely and work off of the other concepts from the SUCCESs formula. Stories tend to be concrete, are usually emotional and often contain unexpected elements.

Whenever you are stuck on how to build your messages and make them memorable, follow the SUCCESs formula and you’ll soon find some success of your own.

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