Connectors, market mavens, and salesmen are the keys to spreading an epidemic. For marketers and communication professionals, The Tipping Point is a great read to help broaden your scope of understanding when it comes to identifying the individuals from your audience who are responsible for igniting a movement, as well as what type of content is needed to engage such members of your audience.
Starting with the first brand of individual Gladwell identifies, connectors occupy multiple worlds and subcultures and are able to do so because of their curiosity, self-confidence, sociability, and energy. Connectors are the ones who connect us to new people, whereas market mavens are the ones who connect us to new information. These individuals thrive on their ability to make priceless connections and gather valuable insights, while also brokering such connections and insights to others. Similar to the explanation of social currency from my previous blog on Jonah Berger's book Contagious, these connectors and market mavens find value in sharing information because it provides them with a means to mint their own social currency, thus providing them with a sense of status in their various circles.
Salesmen are the last of the three interest groups marketers and communication professionals need to consider when designing contagious campaigns. Unlike market-mavens, salesmen persuade their audiences to adopt whatever new information they are presenting. Inevitably, some ideas will not catch on immediately, and these ideas take a little more persuasive maneuvering to push a product, service, or cause to its tipping point. Salesmen are the ones who see an idea or product they like, and they feel the need to convince those around them that it's the next big thing. As long as they are on board with your idea, they will do everything in their power to get their audiences on board as well.
“Why is it that some ideas or behaviors or products start epidemics and others don’t? And what can we do to deliberately start and control positive epidemics of our own?”
Taking into consideration these three select groups of individuals whom add to the tide of an epidemic, Gladwell proposes that the content these individuals share must posses what he calls the stickiness-factor, or the reason behind why some things stick and catch on, and why others don't. As a brand strategist myself, I found his theories to be very helpful in helping me to broaden my scope and consider the little things when crafting content for the brands I represent. I definitely recommend this great read from Malcolm Gladwell so that you too can broaden your creative ability to create contagious campaigns and drive brands to their tipping point.