It is easier to stick a new idea in others’ minds if you can attach it to something that is already happily familiar to them. Hint: Become more frequently quoted by employing this Familiarity Effect. Here’s one way to do so: What familiar and respected product embodies the valuable trait for which you want your product to be remembered? Plum wants to be the Netflix of baby clothes. Instead of buying clothes for your child, rent them then return the clothes when they are outgrown, and get a new set.

Here’s a second hint: Let others be the stars in your story. People are more likely buy your idea or product if they are placed in a situation where they can be seen the experts and or heroes, exploring the topic their way.

Better yet, enable them to gain bragging rights, proving themselves right — in front of others — in their choice to buy from you or to support you. Imagine, for example, the astonishment of the staff — and the sommelier — at Bone’s, an Atlantic steak house when they started handing dining guests’ iPads at the table, loaded with a copy of the wine list. Purchases of wine, shot up 11 percent. Mused Mr. Reno, the sommelier, “With the information on the device, they seem more apt to experiment by buying a different varietal or going outside their price range. It stuns me, but they seem to trust the device more than they trust me, and these are people I’ve waited on for 10 years.” Or, perhaps diners feel more comfortable and confident, looking at various wines themselves and discussing them at the table. The key here is that they get to be the expert. Hint: Let others take charge of your message, tweak it for their needs and thus sell themselves on it.

Former entertainment mogul, now owner of the Golden State Warriors, and Peter Guber, is a passionate believer in the power of a purposeful narrative. That means sharing a story that is meaningful to others, providing ways for them to jump in an become an important part of that story. In his book, Tell to Win, he gives many examples of how people love to tell others about an experience in a story in which they can play a great role. Design your story to spur their adding to it, and they may re-tell it with passion, credibility and conviction.

Organizations as diverse as LEGO and the S.F. Giants, and individuals as diverse as Nicholas Kristof and Tony Hsieh have attracted passionate supporters, in part, by letting others take over their story to re-tell it in their own way.
Surrendering your vivid story in which we can play a meaningful role can probably spread it farther, faster and in more directions than you can on your own. What story are you sharing that will pull me in? I am eager to hear it — and your insights about now to nudge us to participate with you.

Author's Bio: 

Kare Anderson is an Emmy-winning former NBC and Wall Street Journal journalist, now connective behavior and quotability speaker, author and columnist. Her TED talk on The Web of Humanity: Be an Opportunity Maker has attracted over 2.3 million views. Her TEDx talk on Redefine Your Life Around a Mutuality Mindset is now a standard session for employees and invited clients at 14 national and global corporations. Her ideas have been cited in 16 books. Her clients are as diverse as Salesforce, Novartis, and The Skoll Foundation. She was a founding board member of Annie’s Homegrown and co-founder of nine women’s political PACs. Kare is the author of Opportunity Makers, Mutuality Matters, Moving From Me to We, Beauty Inside Out, Walk Your Talk, Getting What You Want, and Resolving Conflict Sooner. Anderson serves on the advisory boards of The Business Innovation Factory, TEDxMarin, and World Affairs Council Marin. Discover more at her blog, Moving From Me to We.