Malcolm Gladwell aims to show how products go viral. How fashion trends emerge, how specific actions can transform markets, and how actions can have a bigger impact than expected. Little things can have big impacts.
Lesson1: The Law of the Few.
For any product or service to become viral, you don’t need a team of hundreds behind the initiative. A tipping point can be created by just a few people. Gladwell calls these types of people Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen.
- Connectors are surrounded by people who have the power or influence to make your product go viral. They know a lot of people and they have a foot in the door in many different places. Gladwell says that The more your product or service comes to a Connector the more power and opportunity it gains.
- Mavens are highly knowledgeable people you can turn to for advice. A maven is also someone who wants to pass on their knowledge. They are also social, they help by getting information to everyone
- Salesmen are the motivators. They get people to buy your product or service. They are the persuaders who make the final influence on people.
Lesson 2: The Stickiness Factor.
Stickiness is the quality of your message. Your message that you hope to go viral. It has to say the right things at the right time. It is often the little things that have made a difference. Little changes from the norm, little additional features that address the key weaknesses of competitive products or services. To make our products or services stand out and appeal we need to understand what our target market needs.
Lesson 3: The Power of Context.
Virality is related to the conditions and circumstances of the times and places in which it occurs. There are two key contextual factors worth consideration: environment and group dynamic. To understand the environment, visualize an area of town full of broken windows. This may create a level of threat in the feeling of the area. Group dynamics could also influence this area. A group susceptible to peer pressure or social norms will have an effect on the context in which they exist. Affecting this group dynamic is very important but can be very difficult as well. British anthropologist Robin Dunbar found that the average human brain has a neocortex large enough to support no more than 150 relationships. Gladwell then suggests that in regard to creating a viral product we need to keep those in the know at a small number. Then build up commitment within this small group until the adoption becomes second nature Finally, with the aid of the Mavens and Connectors, the Salesmen can build on the exclusivity of the product or service, making it attractive to the wider audience.