Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Contagious: Why Things Catch On


Today’s nonfiction post is on Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger. It is 200 pages long including notes and is published by Simon & Schuster. The cover is orange with a light bulb base and a dandelion flower in the center. The intended reader is someone who is interested in business or brain science. There is no sex, no language, and no violence in this book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- What makes things popular?If you said advertising, think again. People don't listen to advertisements, they listen to their peers. But why do people talk about certain products and ideas more than others? Why are some stories and rumors more infectious? And what makes online content go viral?
Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger has spent the last decade answering these questions. He's studied why
New York Times articles make the paper's own Most E-mailed List, why products get word of mouth, and how social influence shapes everything from the cars we buy to the clothes we wear to the names we give our children. In this book, Berger reveals the secret science behind word-of-mouth and social transmission. Discover how six basic principles drive all sorts of things to become contagious, from consumer products and policy initiatives to workplace rumors and YouTube videos.
Contagious combines groundbreaking research with powerful stories. Learn how a luxury steakhouse found popularity through the lowly cheese-steak, why anti-drug commercials might have actually increased drug use, and why more than 200 million consumers shared a video about one of the seemingly most boring products there is: a blender. If you've wondered why certain stories get shared, e-mails get forwarded, or videos go viral, Contagious explains why, and shows how to leverage these concepts to craft contagious content. This book provides a set of specific, actionable techniques for helping information spread: for designing messages, advertisements, and information that people will share. Whether you're a manager at a big company, a small business owner trying to boost awareness, a politician running for office, or a health official trying to get the word out, Contagious will show you how to make your product or idea catch on.

Review- This was a fascinating read. Berger makes business sense into something that can be used by just about anyone for anything. He has what he calls ‘STEPPS’ which is an acronym for Social Currency, Triggers, Emotion, Public, Practical Value, and Stories. Berger uses his STEPPS to break up the book by chapters. One chapter per letter and he gives many ways to use the letter. He talks about nonprofits uses to selling a $100 cheese steak sandwich. Berger helps you take what he is talking about in small doses so that you do not get overwhelmed by all the great ideas. He does this within chapters by chapter breaks. From one chapter break to the next he will start with on story then move to a new one and at the end of the chapter Berger will wrap everything up. I really enjoyed this book.

I give this book a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I won this book from a giveaway on Goodreads.