Made to Stick

Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

Effective leaders need to be effective communicators. This book examines the principles of “sticky” (the art of making ideas memorable). It’s an easy read packed with examples—both successes and failures from serious to funny).

291 pages. ©2007.
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Reader Reviews for this Book


Review posted May 17, 2020


Would be a great read for anyone in marketing or those who do a lot of public speaking. Provides a memorable way to be more effective when sharing ideas.


Review posted March 7, 2020


I selected this book because it sounded like it was inspired by tipping point. Unfortunately, it did not live up to Malcom Gladwell's work. It is possible that buisnesses would find some of the exercises helpful. As a teacher, the book did not help me write lessons that stick with kids any more than what I already was doing.

Bryn McCornack

Review posted February 17, 2020


This is a fascinating look at what makes a story memorable. An excellent resource for writing an LOI that draws the reader in and demands more information.


Review posted February 9, 2020


This book is a fun read. It addresses a number of interesting points however it is also a lower level concept book, basic, and uses humor to get through. I cannot recommend this book, and rather recommend readers to develop their academic voice and practice evidence-based strategies, or simple glean the basic concepts from this book and then continue on with your research based education. I do not work in marketing.


Review posted January 28, 2020


This book has a lot of tips and helpful information about how to make a concept successful.

Janice I Woody

Review posted January 24, 2020


Very insightful and helpful for my work


Review posted January 2, 2020


This was an entertaining and helpful book.


Review posted December 10, 2019


This book provides concrete and creative ideas to get you thinking about how to craft your own projects and their narratives, whether that's pitching a business or restructuring your organization. Chip and Dan's method of "Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, Stories" lays the pathway to SUCCES for you and your ideas.


Review posted November 22, 2019


This was a long listen, interesting enough but i was left with the thought, by the end, that it could have been one cd, or a pamphlet. It was good advice, but take notes while you listen and you'll never need to reference it again.


Review posted November 8, 2019


Made to Stick is a broad look at psychological, emotional, and interpersonal strategies for effective communication and achieving goals. The strategies are compelling but the book suffers from speaking to so many contexts and industries.


Review posted October 22, 2019


This book contains some great information. Parts of it drag on long after the point is made, but all in all it is good read.


Review posted October 17, 2019


This is an idea partner on paper. I found it very useful in helping me evaluate my own cognition.


Review posted September 19, 2019


Like everything I've ever read from the Heath brothers, Made To Stick provides a new perspective that makes perfect sense. It discusses just enough about how our brains work to make the point that HOW we offer information has a big influence on whether or not our reader or hearer will remember it - and how it will influence them if they do. I'm a writer, so making ideas stick is a high priority for me. I particularly appreciated The Velcro Theory of Memory. Definitely explains why we 'show don't tell', and in a technical document we show, tell, and provide a diagram or two!


Review posted August 29, 2019


Excellent Book!


Review posted June 24, 2019


Made to Stick describes interesting and innovative ways to think about how messaging can resonate more effectively with people. Keeping messages simple is the first principle. For example, a message such as 'smoking causes cancer' is simple, easy to remember and can even play into other principles in the book such as making an emotional appeal. Most people are inherently scared of cancer. Creating messages to be unexpected is another one of the principles. Messages from the Truth campaign might fit into this. Showing hundreds of body bags to represent the number of people who die each year from smoking-related diseases was unexpected messaging when it first came out. The Heaths also recommend making messages concrete and credible. The old tobacco prevention messages showing diseased lungs compared to non-diseased lungs might fit into this; although care needs to also be given to fear-based messaging which may not appeal to certain groups such as young people. Telling stories is another Heath recommendation which has been used by the CDC in their 'Tips from Former Smokers' campaign. Again, these messages may work for some groups but not all. The principles outlined in the 'Made to Stick' are helpful guidelines for crafting effective messaging, but other sources should be utilized as well, especially with certain populations.


Review posted June 24, 2019


A very practical book for the logic behind how to increase new learning in your workforce. I’d recommend it to my staff and will use it for this coming school year as well as making it available in our library for checkout.


Review posted May 16, 2019


This was a fun book. I read it right after reading Malcolm Gladwell's 'The Tipping Point'. It was very similar, as if I had just continued reading more chapters in the same book.


Review posted May 6, 2019


Super! I like the 6 principles for making ideas stick. What a great book for anyone who wants others to remember what you are saying. A great and non-boring read.


Review posted April 23, 2019


This book has been helpful my program's attempt to implement new ideas. These authors are fantastic and everything they write has been wonderful.


Review posted January 29, 2019


I liked this book it was interesting and the subject. I recommend this book strongly


Review posted January 29, 2019


I thoroughly enjoyed Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die. It was interesting to compare what has been done in the past to how we should proceed in the future.


Review posted January 29, 2019


This was a very interesting listen that provided numerous easily understandable examples supporting the title. Still working on how to best apply the information but glad to have it.


Review posted December 11, 2018


Interesting read. Really made you think.


Review posted November 8, 2018


As someone who evaluates the feasibility of implementing new ideas, this book provided interesting insights on the stickiness of an idea and provide useful information for those focusing on developing "sticky" ideas.


Review posted October 30, 2018


This was a great book for anyone who has struggle to "geth their message across". Applicable for all walks of life. Entertaining. Great examples of how to apply ideas.


Review posted October 25, 2018




Review posted September 14, 2018


This is humorous, and not a hard read.


Review posted September 6, 2018


It was a little tough to read. It could have been the start of the school year and things have been hectic but it was good read. Will need to sit down an reread for sure.


Review posted June 12, 2018


really enjoyed this book. the tips and examples were really useful.


Review posted May 22, 2018


This book has many great metaphors that help the concepts "stick." It is entertaining and easy to read; I've shared several concepts with my team.


Review posted May 18, 2018


The book gave some great input on why some ideas stick and how to make your idea stick rather than die. The book was a little too long for me and thought it could have been shortened and still got the point across.


Review posted April 22, 2018


Informative, surprising and entertaining read. Loved the chapter on Stories.

Dick Dolgonas

Review posted February 27, 2018


This was an easy to read, but somewhat repetitive book. But the concept of stickiness is illustrated by well told stories. I found myself giving examples to folks, such as how the phrase "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" is memorable and very understandable. Or the example of Bill Clinton's campaign chief having to keep Clinton from adding to the "It's the economy, stupid" phrase. Or as someone replied when I mentioned that, "Make America Great Again".


Review posted January 11, 2018


Loved this book, I would recommend it!


Review posted January 8, 2018


It is an easy, interesting, and relevant to read. The idea for an idea to survive, it must stick. It should be understandable, memorable, and effective in changing thought or behavior. An Idea must be Simple, it should use the Unexpected as a means to generate attention. It should be Concrete and Credible. Finally, it should get in touch with our Emotional side and have some Stories to back it up. One of the strongest points of this book it that it is written following its own preach. It is clearly written and backed up with examples that help to illustrate its arguments.


Review posted December 25, 2017


Very informative


Review posted December 13, 2017


good book


Review posted December 7, 2017


Excellent read. Nice to know that not ever idea has to work.


Review posted December 4, 2017


This book is such a smooth and easy read, offering helpful and clear examples to readers. This doesn't read dryly, and is very engaging. Helpful insight offered, I'd recommend this book to anyone who is seeking more insight into increasing the effectiveness of their ideas.


Review posted November 28, 2017


I ended up liking this book for reasons other than what I thought it would be about when I requested it. I don't know what I really expected but for some reason my thoughts as I read it drifted in a different direction than what I thought my purpose was in reading it; in any case I found it to be useful and informative.


Review posted November 3, 2017


Well written and easy to read insight into how to be heard through all the noise. The book was really ahead of its time and is now more applicable than ever. If you need your message to be heard and remembered, this book is helpful.


Review posted October 15, 2017


I would say this book is essential for anyone who wants to craft a message that is powerful and memorable. It's as applicable for community advocates as it is for entrepreneurs. Highly readable, with fascinating case studies.


Review posted October 4, 2017


Very easy to read and digest. Had some good perspectives on how to get others to hear, remember, and act on your ideas. To make them stick. I would recommend this book to others who are interested in being more effective in having their ideas take root and grow.

Suz Ybarra

Review posted August 23, 2017


As a teacher and writer, I want what I say to be heard, cared about, remembered, and acted upon. This book taught me how to do that. It's the best.


Review posted August 1, 2017


Really good idea about how to make ideas stick, but I didn't get much about how to create those ideas when you feel you can do more for a business than they will give you option to do. Once you have an idea this book is very helpful.


Review posted June 23, 2017


This book breaks down the qualities that an idea needs in order to be remembered by people and influence their behavior, or “stickiness”. There are six qualities that the authors identify, simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional, stories. This book is clear, engaging and full of examples to help drive the message home. It is a great book to help evaluate whether ideas are going to be worth putting in the work or whether they are not going to make it.


Review posted May 24, 2017


A comprehensive analysis with solid examples. I thoroughly enjoyed this selection which is quite extensive but easy to digest.


Review posted May 19, 2017


Some compelling thoughts, ideas, and examples on how to express ideas so people remember them and they come to life. However, the reader is quite monotone and not very exciting to listen to.


Review posted February 13, 2017


What a wonderful tool for thinking about projects and ideas, and framing them in a way that can be heard and understood by audiences. A great resource for development coordinators and programs!


Review posted February 6, 2017


Made To Stick was an interesting follow up to The Tipping Point. It built on the foundation that had been laid. I liked the structure of the communication framework. It has given me a new perspective to consider as we put together training sessions and materials.


Review posted February 2, 2017


Real life examples throughout the book. The authors bring about an inspiring round map of how one can turn their vision into reality


Review posted January 8, 2017


I liked "Made to Stick" it was interesting and easy to read. I thought the idea of S.U.C.C.E.S. (simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional, and tell a story) was great and easy to remember and apply. The examples are fun and makes the book hold your attention. I also love that theyre real life examples that people can relate to.


Review posted December 30, 2016


what a great book! I learned so much about why some ideas of mine, even the good ones, would just fizzle out. Looking forward to making some changes and seeing things actually move forward!


Review posted December 5, 2016


Excellent read! Inspired many new ways to make my ideas more applicable and bring them into fruition.


Review posted November 8, 2016


Find the core of your message, the bedrock mission of it. From there, use the six qualities the Heaths lay out to make your message "stick". To help you remember, the qualities are SUCCESs: ** Simplicity - not dumbing down though ** Unexpectedness - didn't see that coming! ** Concreteness - fix the machine, not the drawing ** Credibility - it doesn't come only from celebrities ** Emotional - people care on their level; change yours to match theirs ** Stories - told right, people act on what they're hearing Think of all the slogans you've heard. You remember them? From core idea to making the slogan stick with you, even years later, they all use these qualities. Get your copy today. Read it. Apply what you read. Start making your core message stick!


Review posted October 20, 2016


I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I wasn't expecting to learn more about communication and myself by a book about ideas, but found a lot of good advice to use personally and in business. Easy to understand and apply principles.


Review posted October 19, 2016


Storytelling is a very effective medium that this book uses well. I like the practical ideas as well as the inspirational success stories.


Review posted August 21, 2016


Confirms what we suspected about why some of what is said is so easily forgotten while other information is seems to stay with us. To assure that the important information imparted in this book sticks with me I intend to read it again.


Review posted July 22, 2016


“Ideas that stick” are those that are told in compelling ways that cause people to pay attention. The book emphasizes the need to “know what your listeners care about, so you can tailor your communications to them.” Through story after story, the authors practice the “most common refrain in the realm of communication advice: Use repetition, repletion, repetition.” And they do. Which in fact makes it a delightful book to read, and remember!


Review posted June 15, 2016


Clear ideas on how to make your ideas stick. So often we get stuck in the data and that is not what is remembered. Interesting approach to being heard.


Review posted May 20, 2016


Good read with insightful anecdotes

Katherine Bretl

Review posted May 11, 2016


Entertaining and worthwhile. Pairs nicely with The Tipping Point.


Review posted May 6, 2016


This book lays out powerful concepts for making things memorable - well explained through detailed stories and examples.


Review posted April 11, 2016


Great Book. Doing what will "stick" makes you realize you need a plan and a path to follow. worth the time to read


Review posted April 8, 2016


An interesting book with tips on how to make ideas stick using the SUCCESs method. Is it Simple? Is it Unexpected? Is it Concrete? Is it Credible? It is Emotional? Is it a Story?


Review posted March 23, 2016


This book was CHIFF (Clever, High quality, Innovative, Friendly, and Fun)! I definitely enjoyed reading--it was interactive and full of strategies (call to action) which can be used in a variety of ways. SUCCESs (Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, Stories) was demonstrated throughout this book-it was easy to read and relevant to building awareness around how we communicate our ideas and how to develop messages to stick. For being a fairly quick read--this resource is compact with ideas that can help to assess and plan effective communications.

[email protected]

Review posted March 22, 2016


For those familiar with Malcolm Gladwell's writing, this is sort of like the discounted knock-off version of a Gladwell novel. It tackles large amounts of sociology and psychology research and compresses it into bite-sized anecdotes. Anyone who does even the slightest amount of public speaking in their job would benefit from reading this book.


Review posted March 3, 2016


A fascinating look at why some ideas reach a wide audience, while some important ones don't make it so far. A useful tool for considering how to communicate science, philosophy or community development theories.


Review posted February 24, 2016


This was a great book filled with creative and inspirational was of getting people to remember the core message of what you are trying to get a crossed. They show how to do this through great examples from history illustrating there methods.


Review posted January 28, 2016


This was a great book with some excellent perspectives on what messages/ideas really work and which just get lost in the details. It has been helpful for me in being more critical at how I define "who we are" for various organizations - wanting to make sure it gives a good, relate-able, visual image rather than a string of big words that is complicated to comprehend.


Review posted January 15, 2016


Gives relevant and concrete examples. Interesting read and if you like Malcolm Gladwell's 'The Tipping Point', you will like the concept covered.


Review posted December 29, 2015


This book contains great information and helped me in focusing marketing ideas for my new LLC. My only complaint is that the information is redundant within the chapters and the epilogue and all the sections after are like a Cliff's Notes version of the book, again repeating itself. Overall though I'm glad I read it and it certainly took some ideas away that I'll apply to my business plan immediately!


Review posted December 21, 2015


This was great. Lots of good ideas.

Margaret Tomlinson

Review posted November 29, 2015


Made to Stick is a very useful book for help with anything that involves convincing people of a nonprofit organization's importance - fundraising, for example. The authors show how to express an idea so people will believe and remember it. The book is easy to read and understand, and very convincing. Having the checklist of the 6 principles to use (simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, emotions and stories) does not necessarily make it easy to use these principles, though. The authors say that's because of the "Curse of Knowledge," which makes it difficult to boil an idea down to its most basic expression and present it in the simplest, most vivid and easy-to-understand way, because the person who wants to present the idea already knows so much about it, in such complexity. I was reading this book while thinking about a presentation I want to make to our city council, and I kept going back to the book for help. This is a book I will keep handy and refer to often.


Review posted November 17, 2015


This book was very interesting and provided much insight on how to make things stick no matter what the situation is.


Review posted November 15, 2015


The authors' present a collection of elements that make up a "sticky" idea: simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, emotions, and stories. The ideas and concepts in the book were very thought provoking and relevant to my personal life.


Review posted November 11, 2015


An excellent book on how to turn your message into an effective communication tool. Either an individual or an organization, the ideas presented in this book can be applied to various objectives requiring the message to be memorable--or to stick, as the authors suggest in the title.

[email protected]

Review posted October 29, 2015


The authors provide concrete, tangible examples for their recommendations on how to make ideas stick. However, I didn't feel like I had any "aha!" moments or breakthroughs in my understanding of how to communicate new concepts clearly. I would recommend the book for anyone new to public outreach or anyone struggling to describe a program or need area. The book is a fairly quick read, and you could skim parts if necessary.

Niki Price

Review posted October 27, 2015


This was a great choice for me, with lots of good ideas about how to frame your message and why stories stick better than generalities or basic tips. I wish that I had ordered it in a book form, rather than an audio book, because I would like to use it as a reference for specific concepts in the future.


Review posted September 24, 2015


If you are going to write a guide to crafting sticky ideas, your book had better embody your principles. Authors Chip and Dan Heath succeed admirably. What I love about "Made to Stick" is that it is not merely entertaining (though it is), it provides practical, tangible strategies for creating sticky ideas. Once you understand these recommendations, you can boil them down to a set of touchstone points to evaluate your own work. This sets "Made to Stick" apart from the work of Malcolm Gladwell, whom the Heath brothers cite as an inspiration. I enjoyed Gladwell's books but could not necessarily apply his ideas to my own work. My review copy of "Made to Stick" is covered with highlighter. I am reading the book once through for pure pleasure, and then I am going back again to apply the ideas to evaluate the communications of a non-profit organization I am working for. "Made to Stick" challenges you to distill the essence of your message, to get back to core principles and to communicate them in a memorable way. Chip and Dan point out that as we become experts, we tend to use abstraction to define our ideas, and we lose our ability to communicate with novices. They teach us how to bridge that gap so that our ideas are once again accessible by everyone. "Made to Stick" gives you the tools you need to revamp your own messages. It provides "do it yourself" conuslting in book form, which will be appreciated by activists, entrepreneurs, and businesses of all sizes.


Review posted September 23, 2015


Really good book, easy read with great examples.


Review posted September 11, 2015


The book is engaging and easy to read. The authors provides a straightforward, practical method for making your ideas "sticky" that is backed up by studies, story examples and the research of the authors. It also provides an easy to remember acronym so you can actually remember the method and use it to evaluate whether your idea has any of the right elements to be sticky.


Review posted August 24, 2015


This book offered many examples of memorable ideas, but I was looking for a deeper exploration into why things become memorable (and some strategies for translating that to my own work).


Review posted May 28, 2015


Fantastic book and the audio format made it great for work trips.


Review posted May 24, 2015


Full of good points on how to make ideas more interesting to our audience. Nice reference section at the end. Will keep for future reference.


Review posted April 6, 2015


It didn't stick. I don't know if it was the voice of the reader of this audio CD, or if it really was the material of the book. It seemed dry and didn't hold my interest at all. I caught myself many times daydreaming while listening to it on unrelated subjects. Thank you for being free.


Review posted March 5, 2015


The strengths of this book are its straightforward presentation of their principles for SUCCES(S) - Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, Stories - in creating ideas that work and survive. They use their own concepts to fashion the message and reinforce it repeatedly. The weakness is just that - they reinforce their concept repeatedly from beginning to end. Much like a introductory college speech course. However, ultimately it is a good reminder of how to improve communications and make the message memorable for one's audience.