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Think Different; think Emotionally.

It was September 28, 1997, when Apple debuted the now famous “Think Different” ad campaign. It featured some of the most iconic pioneers of the day including Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King Jr., and Miles Davis.

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square hole. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.

Have you noticed that the word “computer” is not mentioned once? I thought Apple were trying to sell computers? Was Steve Jobs crazy to launch an ad campaign that had nothing to do with his product?

Steve Jobs was a master communicator and I’ve been thinking a lot lately on how to communicate to people about any specific topic. I care about what I do at my work, and often time it’s difficult for others to understand it.

Chip and Dan Heath talk about the impact that emotion can have on persuasive communication in their book, Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die. The book describes an exercise Chip does with his students at Stanford University. The students are tasked with giving a one-minute persuasive speech. Everyone must present on the same topic, with half the class arguing for one point of view and the other half arguing for the opposite point of view.

After everyone has given their one-minute speech, the students are invited to rate each other on the effectiveness of the presentations, and then instructed to write down key points made by each speaker.

Here’s the data they collected from this exercise:

  • On average, the students used 2.5 statistics during their one-minute speeches
  • Only 5% remember the statistics that were shared
  • 1/10 of the students used a personal story to make their point
  • 63% of the class remembered details from the speeches that used stories

The authors conclusion from the data: “The stars of stickiness are the students who made their case by telling stories, or by tapping into emotion or by stressing a single point rather than ten.”

Steve Jobs wanted us to think differently about the new industry of personal computers. This was the beginning of Apple’s return from the brink of bankruptcy too, and they knew had to break the rues and ditch the status quo. Jobs knew he had to try get you thinking outside the box in order to understand where this new industry fitted into your life, and he had to help you experience emotions in you to make that happen.

Simply ask yourself WHY you started your startup, company, organisation, and you’ll find that emotion you should try help others to feel and understand.

As Pulitzer Prize-winning author Maya Angelou puts it: People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.