Ideas can be contagious. What does that mean? Let’s start with a negative example. A group of high school friends begin to explore the idea of suicide. Chances are, one person brought that idea to the group of friends and it was picked up on by another friend, and then another. Ultimately, several friends in that group might choose to end their lives through suicide. Somewhere along the line, from the introduction of the idea of suicide to the ultimate deaths of several of the friends, the idea of suicide reached critical mass – it reached it’s tipping point – and the idea was embraced by the entire group.If you’re looking for more tips,influencer marketing agency has it for you.
Author Malcolm Gladwell introduced the concept of the tipping point. He explains that life is about change and that while most people think of change as a gradual process, most of the time it is not. Change happens rapidly and often unexpectedly, like the onset of an epidemic. An example Gladwell uses to explain the idea of the tipping point is that of an elementary school classroom being exposed to the measles virus. One child will bring the measles virus into the classroom and all the children will be exposed. Within a short period of time, all the children will have experienced the virus and none of them will ever get the measles again. One small change – one infected child – will affect an entire classroom. The impact of a small change can be and often is enormous.
Gladwell is convinced that ideas and products move through society like epidemics. Small changes are introduced into the social environment and they catch on and spread through society like a disease. Gladwell hopes that helping people to understand the concept of tipping points can be used to bring about positive social changes. He hopes that people can be convinced to start positive epidemics of their own.
Individuals can be positive forces for change and create their own tipping points. Marketing companies can create tipping points through their campaigns to help create a desire for a certain product. Sometimes, the combination of those two things – individuals and marketing companies – can create social epidemics. Think back a few years ago to Lance Armstrong and his Livestrong bracelets. The combination of his biking talents and celebrity and the marketing talents behind the design and distribution of the yellow rubber bracelets created a social phenomenon. Everyone needed to have a Livestrong bracelet. For a while, those sorts of bracelets were used as marketing tools by other organizations. And now, the tipping point has passed and those are no longer popular.
Understanding the tipping point theory can be helpful in understanding life but especially when examining how ideas can be spread. The marketing of ideas and products can create tipping points. And often, those tipping points are created not by instituting large changes, but by making one small change – like a child introducing a measles virus into a classroom. One small change can have an enormous impact.