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The Tipping Point : How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference – Malcolm Gladwell

THE TIPPING POINT : How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference

Malcolm Gladwell
Malcolm Gladwell


Why Certain Ideas, Products And Behaviors Spread Like Epidemics & What We Can Do To Consciously Trigger To Control Over Such Epidemics.

Remarks Free Cover-Pages Wrapping
ISBN 9780316679077
Author Malcolm Gladwell
Book Condition LIGHTLY USED
Publisher Hachette (Back Bay Books)
Publication Date 01 Mar 2014
Pages 288
Weight 0.30 kg
Dimension 17 × 10.5 × 2 cm
Availability: 1 in stock

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Gladwell defines a tipping point as “the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point.” The book seeks to explain and describe the “mysterious” sociological changes that mark everyday life. Therefore, The Tipping Point considers why certain products, diseases, or ideas become viral. Each epidemic shares a few common features that are enough to kickstart a significant rise in sales, diagnoses, or conversations.
Understanding how social complex systems interact can help us to make more informed decisions in business (e.g. understanding consumer fads or market behaviours). Drawing inspiration from epidemiology, in this book The Tipping Point, journalist Malcolm Gladwell describes the conditions that enable ideas, trends and social behaviours to spread like an epidemic.
Malcolm Gladwell considers the importance of context and the finer details in our environments. Plus, he provides an outline of the types of people who are integral to spreading an epidemic. Therefore, Malcolm provides building blocks for business people who want to make their product, service, or idea viral. The key is to find your idea’s tipping point and implement it consistently.

Gladwell describes the “three rules of epidemics” (or the three “agents of change”) in the tipping points of epidemics:
1. The Law of the Few :
An epidemic begins when a few highly infectious individuals become viral vectors for a product or idea by adopting it themselves and spreading the word. Gladwell identifies three key types of infectious opinion leaders with whom you should seed your product at launch:

◆ Mavens are opinion leading consumer experts who spread influence by sharing their knowledge with friends and family. Mavens are gate-keepers of innovation diffusion because their adoption patterns are respected by peers as informed decisions.

◆ Connectors are a second type of opinion leading consumer, deriving their influence not through expertise, but by their position as highly connected social network hubs. As centres of social gravity, around whom people cluster, connectors are popular people who have a viral capacity to showcase and advocate new products.

◆ Salesmen are the third type of opinion leading influencer, people with the power of persuasion. They are naturally charismatic and contagious consumers – who often work in sales – whose enthusiasm rubs off on those around them.
2. The Stickiness Factor :
An epidemic spreads when the contagious agent, the product, is naturally infectious, or ‘sticky’ to use the broadcasting term. A show is ‘sticky’ when we don’t want to switch channels, and Gladwell gives examples from television and books to show how small tweaks to increase relevance, talk-ability and memorability can have a massive effect on success. Although he does not address consumer products more generally, the recent meta-analysis of a wide range of cult brands in the Journal of Product Management (2000) shows us the ten critical factors that make any product sticky or infectious:

◆ Uniqueness: clear one-of-a-kind differentiation

◆ Aesthetics: perceived aesthetic appeal

◆ Association: generates positive associations

◆ Engagement: fosters emotional involvement

◆ Excellence: perceived as best of breed

◆ Expressive value: visible sign of user values

◆ Functional value: helps goal attainment

◆ Nostalgic value: evokes sentimental linkages

◆ Personification: has character, personality

◆ Cost: perceived value for money

The implication from The Tipping Point is that we should develop products to fit this ‘sticky’ profile, because these are the critical success factors that can have a massive impact on sales.
3. The Power of Context :
Finally, the spread of an epidemic will depend on whether the context is right. Ideas and products that fit the context into which they are launched spread fast and wide, whilst others that don’t fit their context, don’t spread. For example, a wave of crime in the New York subway was halted by simply removing the graffiti from trains and clamping down on fare-dodging.

The context changed and so did the people. This power of context provides marketers with a powerful new strategy for the development of new products: Target contexts before you target consumers. Consumers are contextual chameleons and will adopt your product if it fits the context, situation or occasion in which they find themselves.

It also means that consumers are more highly susceptible to influence at the point of purchase than we might think – underlining the critical importance of Point of Purchase promotions and personal selling. Whilst volume and price promotions will always work well in the purchase context, think about how you could integrate the six psychological principles of influence into promotions and promotional materials.

◆ Scarcity: Our minds are hardwired to value scarce resources, so limit availability of the promotion or your product
◆ Majority: The herd instinct is very much alive, so use the power of lists to show how your product is no 1, and watch the crowds follow
◆ Authority: The brain is automatically predisposed to copying the behaviour of authorities, so show how your product is the preferred choice of category authorities
◆ Beauty: We may not like it but we have an automatic reflex to think good looking people make good choices – so associate your product with the choices of beautiful people
◆ Reciprocity: We have evolved to reciprocate favours, so do something for the buyer, and improve your chances of getting bought
◆ Consistency: The human mind automatically prefers to be consistent with past choices, so show how your product is consistent with the choices they’ve already made
In his conclusion, Gladwell provides one last illustration of the tipping point. A nurse trying to raise breast cancer awareness among African-American women targeted hair salons as the environment in which to spread her message. In such a relaxed context as a hair salon, people are receptive to new information, as opposed to a formal educational setting.
While these types of low-key methods are often dismissed as solutions that treat symptoms rather than the problem, Gladwell claims that it’s exactly these types of small, focused actions that over time can build to a tipping point.
This illustration encompasses The Tipping Point’s main theme: large-scale trends, whether they be related to health concerns or products, can be similarly traced back to precise, imperceptible events that build momentum over time.
———————————————- Review :
“The best way to understand the dramatic transformation of unknown books into bestsellers, or the rise of teenage smoking, or the phenomena of word of mouth or any number of the other mysterious changes that mark everyday life,” writes Malcolm Gladwell, “is to think of them as epidemics. Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do.” Although anyone familiar with the theory of memetics will recognize this concept, Gladwell’s The Tipping Point has quite a few interesting twists on the subject.
For example, Paul Revere was able to galvanize the forces of resistance so effectively in part because he was what Gladwell calls a “Connector”: he knew just about everybody, particularly the revolutionary leaders in each of the towns that he rode through.
But Revere “wasn’t just the man with the biggest Rolodex in colonial Boston,” he was also a “Maven” who gathered extensive information about the British. He knew what was going on and he knew exactly whom to tell. The phenomenon continues to this day–think of how often you’ve received information in an e-mail message that had been forwarded at least half a dozen times before reaching you.
Gladwell develops these and other concepts (such as the “stickiness” of ideas or the effect of population size on information dispersal) through simple, clear explanations and entertainingly illustrative anecdotes, such as comparing the pedagogical methods of Sesame Street and Blue’s Clues, or explaining why it would be even easier to play Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon with the actor Rod Steiger.
Although some readers may find the transitional passages between chapters hold their hands a little too tightly, and Gladwell’s closing invocation of the possibilities of social engineering sketchy, even chilling,
The Tipping Point is one of the most effective books on science for a general audience in ages. It seems inevitable that “tipping point,” like “future shock” or “chaos theory,” will soon become one of those ideas that everybody knows–or at least knows by name. –Ron Hogan
About the Author :
Malcolm Gladwell is the author of five New York Times bestsellers: The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, What the Dog Saw, and David and Goliath. He is also the co-founder of Pushkin Industries, an audio content company that produces the podcasts Revisionist History, which reconsiders things both overlooked and misunderstood, and Broken Record, where he, Rick Rubin, and Bruce Headlam interview musicians across a wide range of genres.
Gladwell has been included in the Time 100 Most Influential People list and touted as one of Foreign Policy’s Top Global Thinkers. He was a reporter for the Washington Post from 1987 to 1996, working first as a science writer and then as New York City bureau chief. Since 1996, he has been a staff writer for The New Yorker.

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