Made to Stick (SUCCES Model)

Heath and Heath (2007) Made to Stick (SUCCESS Model): How-to and Why

In their influential book “Made to Stick” (2007), Chip Heath and Dan Heath present the SUCCES Model, a powerful framework for creating ideas that are memorable and impactful. The SUCCES Model outlines six principles that help ensure messages are understood, remembered, and acted upon. Here’s a detailed explanation of each principle, including how to implement them and why they are important.


How-to: To make your message simple, strip it down to its core essence. Focus on the most important idea you want to communicate and eliminate any unnecessary details. Use analogies and metaphors to convey complex ideas in a straightforward manner.

Why: Simplicity ensures that the audience can easily grasp and remember the core message. A simple, clear message cuts through the noise and sticks in people’s minds, making it more likely to be recalled and acted upon later. By focusing on the essential, you avoid overwhelming your audience with information, enhancing comprehension and retention


How-to: Capture attention by introducing elements of surprise and generating curiosity. Break the pattern of predictability by presenting information in an unexpected way. Use intriguing questions or surprising facts to keep the audience engaged.

Why: Unexpected elements disrupt normal thinking patterns and capture attention, making the audience more likely to focus on and remember the message. By creating curiosity, you keep the audience engaged and motivate them to seek more information, enhancing the likelihood that they will remember and share the idea


How-to: Make your ideas tangible by using clear, specific examples and sensory details. Avoid abstract language and instead, provide concrete images and analogies that help people visualize the message. Use descriptive words that appeal to the senses.

Why: Concrete ideas are easier to understand and remember than abstract concepts. When people can visualize and relate to an idea, it becomes more memorable. Concrete details provide a mental anchor, helping the audience to grasp and retain the information more effectively


How-to: Enhance the credibility of your message by using authoritative sources, statistics, and real-life examples. Cite experts, provide detailed evidence, and share personal anecdotes that illustrate the validity of your points.

Why: Credibility is crucial for making ideas believable and convincing. When a message is supported by credible evidence and authoritative sources, the audience is more likely to trust and accept it. Building credibility helps overcome skepticism and reinforces the impact of the message


How-to: Connect with your audience on an emotional level by tapping into their feelings and values. Use storytelling, vivid imagery, and relatable examples to evoke emotions such as empathy, fear, joy, or anger. Highlight the personal relevance of the message to make it more impactful.

Why: Emotions play a key role in making ideas stick. When people care about a message, they are more likely to remember it and take action. Emotional connections create a lasting impact, making the message more persuasive and memorable


How-to: Use narratives to convey your message and illustrate key points. Share stories that are relevant, engaging, and relatable to your audience. Structure your stories with a clear beginning, middle, and end to ensure they are easy to follow.

Why: Stories are a powerful tool for communication because they provide context and meaning. They help the audience connect with the message on a personal level and make abstract ideas concrete. Stories are more memorable than dry facts, and they inspire action by illustrating how concepts can be applied in real-life situations


The SUCCES Model by Heath and Heath provides a strategic approach to creating sticky ideas that are memorable and impactful. By focusing on simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, emotions, and stories, you can craft messages that resonate deeply with your audience. This approach ensures that your ideas are not only understood and remembered but also acted upon, leading to greater engagement and effectiveness in communication