Sticky ideas create a visual that the other party can see and feel. Aesop’s Fables are great examples of abstract moral truths made concrete. For example, the abstract lesson to “always tell the truth” was concretely illustrated in “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” The distinguishing trait of concrete ideas is that you can picture them in your head.
For instance, some of my blogs are lessons from successful people. By creating the image of Howard Schultz plunging his hands into a barrel of coffee each morning and breathing in deeply to remind him why he got into the business in the first place, I am able to connect the abstract concept of getting your passion back to a specific and relatable person in a sensory-rich image.
The Velcro Theory of Memory says that the more “hooks” we can put into an idea, the stickier it will be. Concreteness not only helps people understand ideas, it helps them work towards a common goal.
During the Apollo missions, engineers had to make sure the occupants could survive for up to 13 days and make it to the moon and back. This clear message ensured that all the engineering teams from Life Support to Propulsion would be working toward the same goal of sending 3 men to the moon and returning them safely back to earth.
How can you take your abstract ideas and make them more stick by making your message more concrete?
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