Thursday, April 04, 2013

Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger

In his book Contagious, Jonah Berger, Assistant Professor of Marketing at the Wharton School at the
University of Pennsylvania, asks an intriguing question. Why do things catch on? It isn't marketing that sets ideas and items on fire in the marketplace. Instead, it's usually word of mouth.

I'm fascinated by social media and how we use it. Contagious covers everything from cooler conversations to Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Marketing Departments have to work hard to catch the attention of a public over-saturated with information and commercials. They not only need to catch the attention of the consumer, they have to make their product so interesting that people want to pass on the information to others. That's where Berger's research and anecdotes come in. What will arouse the interest of people enough that they'll want to talk to others about it?

Since Berger used an entire book to discuss the principles of  "The six STEPPS to crafting contagious content", I won't be able to adequately summarize them here. In the introduction, he lists "Products or ideas that contain Social Currency, and are Triggered, Emotional, Public, Practically Valuable, and wrapped into Stories". The ideas make perfect sense when explained with anecdotes throughout the book.

I found Contagious to be fascinating. Anyone interested in marketing, or why we bend to peer pressure, might want to pick up Jonah Berger's book. The research and stories showing business successes and failures offers interesting ideas for marketing, and why we all fall for certain campaigns.

Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger. Simon & Schuster. 2012. ISBN 9781451686579 (hardcover), 244p.

FTC Full Disclosure - Library book


Joe Barone said...

You mean you read library books too? :) It sounds to me as if you are reading books that might be useful in your new job.

Joe Barone said...

You can't tell I don't use those little symbols. My smiley face looks contorted somehow. I think I left something out.

Lesa said...

I do read library books, Joe. But you should have seen my family laughing at me that my books are already piling up. I am reading some books relating to my job. I have a fun book for tomorrow, though. And, I thought your smiley face looked fine.

Ingrid King said...

This sounds like an intriguing book - thanks for the review, Lesa, it's on my TBR list.

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Ingrid. It's very interesting.

Cristina Love said...

This seems to be a must read book and I'm wondering where from to buy the e-book or the audio book, since I'm in Romania and the websites welcome me with the typical "this title is not available in your area". /(