We’re so happy to be bringing the Hospitality in the News series into 2021! For the first article of the new year, we’re covering how to use the stickiness factor in messaging to stand out amongst competition. (While you’re here, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog so you can stay up to date on hospitality-related news, stats, and stories.) 

What is the “stickiness factor” and how can you use the stickiness factor to improve your messaging?

When thinking of how to properly communicate your brand, finding the right messaging is key. The way your company chooses to connect with customers can affect new business, word-of-mouth marketing, and shape how current customers see you.  

Because it’s the start of the new year – a highly anticipated one at that – it’s a great time to reevaluate your company’s messaging. A new year means new beginnings, and is good opportunity to take stock of what we learned during the year prior, particularly with the emergence of the coronavirus and other important topics covered throughout 2020.  

When crafting effective and relatable messaging, there’s one factor to consider that could be the difference between a customer choosing you or a competitor: stickinessStickiness is how much an idea stays around in our culture and commands our attention. It combines the idea of being memorable, and staying near the front of our mind. Messages with the stickiness factor win the war for our attention, by holding our focus despite the incursions of new messages.”  

By changing (sometimes subtly) the presentation or format of an advertisement/message, you can enhance how “sticky” it is. The stickiness of a message is the aspect that allows for it to spread and in some cases, potentially become a social phenomenon (think Wendy’s interactions on Twitter). When creating messaging that has “the stickiness factor,” your audience isn’t limited to new business; you can also use it to engage current customers or employees, facilitate referralsor tell a story.  

According to Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath, there are 5 things you need your audience to do in order for an idea to stick 

  1. Pay attention 
  2. Understand and remember 
  3. Believe 
  4. Care 
  5. Act 

In order to get the desired results from your audience, the authors suggest that your messaging should follow this framework: simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional, stories. By including this in your marketing, you can evoke the above reactions from your audience. Below, we’ll cover a few tips for creating your own messaging with a great ‘stickiness factor’ so your audience will remember you long after they saw your ad.  

Be authentic
If you want your viewers to believe you and care about your messaging, showing authenticity is a great way to do so. Plus, viewers – whether it be current/future customers or employees – will have the opportunity to get to know you better. One thing to keep in mind when constructing a genuine message is that people will likely be able to tell if you’re being inauthentic or following a trend. Don’t feel pressured to follow the crowd if you don’t agree with the sentiment; find topics or movements that resonate with your beliefs and business goals.  

Create an interactive experience
Another way to create a long-lasting impression using the stickiness factor that encourages your audience to pay attention is by offering an interactive experience. For example, at LGC we recently conducted a scavenger hunt on our website to grow visitors and engage customers. In the scavenger hunt, visitors were asked to locate an image on one of website pages and once found, prompted to fill out a form to be entered in the giveaway. At the end of the contest, three winners were chosen and received prizes. This accomplishes a few things:  

  • It allows the consumer to engage on the website in a fun and interesting way that is more memorable than just posting a stationary flyer.  
  • Participants have multiple opportunities to win, providing value to the effort they went through.  
  • LGC benefits by gaining contact info and/or new clients.  

Utilize your team
No matter the position, everyone on your team is technically a marketer because they can speak on their experience with your company. If they’re sharing a positive message, this is a great way to increase word of mouth marketing. When customers are referred to a business, studies show they are up to 24% more loyal to that brand, making then more likely to actConsider how your team can enhance their word of mouth efforts, whether through social media or networking. Hearing information from a trusted source will be more memorable than an ad targeted towards a larger group.  

Don’t overcomplicate your message
Understanding and remembering your message is one of the most important takeaways for your audience. A simple yet compelling advertisement can evoke multiple emotions, ranging from surprise to delight to feelings of nostalgia. Check out these examples of powerful marketing that use few words or images yet still have an impact to help you form your own. Think “less is more.”  

For the thousands of companies who lost business due to the coronavirus, especially in the hospitality industry, growing revenue and finding new customers will be key in 2021Using these tips when coming up with your marketing will help you create messages using the stickiness factor, meaning your audience will have a hard time forgetting it long into the future. And when it comes time to use your service or buy your product, they’ll choose you over a competitor.