Contagious: Why Things Catch On – Jonah Berger Review

Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger

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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.

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How to find success? This book has you covered.

 Jonah Berger’s book uses research and case studies to explore some of the answers and he’s come up with some guiding principles that can help increase your chance of success.

This book is similar to a course I had to endure four-months of in University. Except, this book covers everything simply and easily. Several years ago, I could have used this book instead of wasting hours inside of a classroom.

This is an essential read for anyone in the communications field, and anyone looking to branch out with an entrepreneurial dream. Facts and suggestions are presented clearly. Although it reads similar to a textbook, it is simple dialect and easy to understand.

Very interesting features about social media, and “sharing” through Facebook and YouTube.

Berger has a very creative mind, and is a person to watch for in the future.

Thanks to Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a review copy.

About Lisa Lunney

A Canadian gal that firmly believes words can change the world. An avid reader, writer and Autumn/Winter lover. She excels at communications and writes for pleasure and profession.
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