Contagious: Why Things Catch On – Author Jonah Berger

A hot new lunch spot, a yellow rubber band worn around the wrist and the new car everybody wants are all examples of social contagion. While it might seem that those things enjoyed instant popularity upon release, it’s actually very hard to get products to catch on and go viral.  In the new book, “Contagious: Why Things Catch On” by author Jonah Berger, James G. Campbell Assistant Professor of Marketing at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Berger explains how this happens and how you can snag that power to make your business into the same kind of sensation.
The best and most cost-effective way for things to go viral is word-of-mouth. Berger shares his years of research and offers STEPPS to accomplish this. Starting with “S,” you must present your product as social currency, something that is unique, unexpected and remarkable. Tie your business to a trigger by taking advantage of the environmental cues surrounding your potential customers. Harness their emotions through videos and posts that tug at the heartstrings or get the blood boiling. Make your business and product public because the easier something is to see, the more buzz it will create. Imbue your product with practical value by harnessing the power of sales, coupons, promotional offers and free advice; just make sure it is in moderation. Finally, tell stories through these methods to share your tale with others.
True to his methods, author Jonah Berger uses stories to illustrate how others have utilized word-of-mouth as a successful marketing tool, but he also shares tales about buzz that has gone wrong.
Marketers will be glad to know that this book’s practicality isn’t limited by business size. Managers will love its infectious nature. If you’re ready to see your product spread around the world, then “Contagious” is a book you should catch.

Photo by Deborah Feingold
Photo by Deborah Feingold

ContagiousLearn more about Jonah Berger
Order “Contagious” from Amazon
Download some Contagious resources here
Original Review by Terri Schlichenmeyer 

2 thoughts on “Contagious: Why Things Catch On – Author Jonah Berger”

  1. I saw him at SXSW and he is sharp with his presentation and process. Though I think we all shiver whenever we hear the word “viral,” Berger was pragmatic with his advice that we can put into action.
    Thanks for pointing to his free e-books and resources.

  2. Jonah has great strategies on how to use social influence to spread ideas. He will be sharing them during a webinar on April 30th. Be one of the first 30 people to register and get a free signed copy of the book. Reserve your spot:

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