“The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell was really a mind-opening read for me. It shook me up a bit because it changed the way or at least gave me a completely new perspective that challenged the viewpoints I’ve developed over the course of my life. Ideas, trends, appeal, and opinions among other things are so much more than just face value. These topics are more complex and are controlled by societal shifts and influencers.
Reflecting on this I tried analyzing how Gladwell’s ideas can apply to daily scenarios. Chapter 2: The Law of the Few, explains that so many things such as fashion, politics, news, etc. are pretty much controlled by a select group of master influencers that make epidemics/trending topics happen. I thought about someone who would fall under this category and one person came immediately to mind, Ellen DeGeneres.
She is what Gladwell would consider a “Connector”. Ellen knows everyone. She befriends celebrities and even makes normal people become sensations (Sofia Grace and Rosie). She’s a huge marketing mogul. She’s been a spokesperson for Covergirl Cosmetics, JC Penny, hosted the Academy Awards, has her own talk show, has an app (which is so much fun FYI), and is a viral sensation just to name a few. Someone like Ellen really influences people’s opinions on a wide array of topics. I can’t speak for all, but I’ve caught myself starting topics like “Did you see how Ellen did ____?” We fall into a mob mentality and some of our viewpoints definitely correlate to our influencers.
But aside from influencers, Gladwell also touches on things becoming relevant or newsworthy because of their “stickiness factor”. This made so much sense to me. In fact, some of the values associated with stickiness factor are factors that I use in my news reporting. They make the story memorable or at least able to leave an impression on viewers. Uniqueness, personification, and engagement would be the three that stood out the most.
I always try to find a unique story that differentiates itself from the rest. It catches the attention of the viewer. I find a central character or someone/something that has personality. Doing so engages the audience. The audience is able to connect emotionally or relate to the story in some way.
Aside from my storytelling, media overall and specific news organizations uses these factors. They develop their brands and market them. “Where the News Comes First”, “In Your Corner”, “On Your Side”… these are just some examples of branding some news stations have. Their branding and marketing strategies are no accident and Gladwell’s book really elucidates these principals.
Overall, “The Tipping Point” serves as an interesting read. It’s message resonated with me and made me think twice and analyze deeper as to why things are the way they are, why people do certain things, think the way they do, etc. It’s a truthful lesson in branding and marketing.