The author says that Mars bars saw a big uptick in sales when NASA launched an expedition to, guess where? They focus so much on getting people to talk that they ignore that part that really matters: what people are talking about.”, You don’t want to create a story that has people talking about the story and sharing it, but not talking about the organization behind it. I want to note that to really take away the most from this section you will want to read the book because he shares a lot of useful information to back up his point. If you’ve ever wondered why certain ideas get shared, brands get more word of mouth, or videos go viral, this book explains why. Very interestingly, Jonah Berger says that when we are in aroused states we tend to share more than we’d normally want. But if the tip jar is already brimming with money, they assume that everyone must be tipping, and thus they should tip as well.”, The observability of a product “has a huge impact on whether products and ideas catch on.”, An example he provides of this is, “The Movember Foundation succeeded because they figured out how to make the private public. “When we care, we share” (96) There are emotions that most people deem positive while … Jonah Berger says that interesting products receive more immediate word of mouth than boring ones, but interesting per se doesn’t sustain word of mouth over time. But putting your ad subtly into a story can help get the message across in a more efficient manner because the “information travels under the guise of what seems like idle chatter.”. In “Contagious” by Jonah Berger, you will gain the insight you need to get your product to really catch on. From consumer products and policy initiatives to B2B services and ideas and initiatives within organizations. These two things make products seem more desirable and people love desirable things. As Jonah Berger puts it, “just as people use money to buy products or services, they use social currency to achieve desired positive impressions among their families, friends, and colleagues.”, Jonah says marketers need to use social currency to achieve great word-of-mouth for a product. Jonah Berger is a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and internationally bestselling author of Contagious, Invisible Influence, and The Catalyst.He’s a world-renowned expert on social influence, word of mouth, and why products, ideas, and behaviors catch on and has published over 50 papers in top-tier academic journals. One of the ways brands use these two concepts is by doing things like including the words ‘limited availability,’ which “makes us feel like we have to act now.” So if you notice a product being sold using those words, realize that they are trying to make the product more desirable by making it appear as if it is scarce (it may not actually be), thus making it more likely you will buy it. Jonah details multiple examples of viral content that was shared widely, but failed to have any positive impact on the brand. As he puts it the principles of contagiousness are “products or ideas that contain Social Currency and are Triggered, Emotional, Public, Practically Valuable, and wrapped in Stories.”. People talk about more cheerios than Disney World. We want to be the person who shares the hot new band or cool new restaurant because it makes us look hip, tell our friends about the trending news because we are intelligent, share photos of a recent trip to show how awesome our lives are and more. Emotion. People love things that are practical. As you can probably put together, immediate happens very quickly after being influenced by a product, while ongoing can happen way later. After reading this, your product will go viral! There is also an argument by psychologists “that emotions can also be classified based on a second dimension. He wrote, “triggers not only get people talking, they keep them talking. Summary of Contagious: Why Things Catch On By Jonah Berger 1-Page Summary The book starts by laying out what the author believes are the Six Principles of Contagiousness called STEPPS: social currency, triggers, emotion, public, practical value, and stories. “Build a social currency-laden, triggered, emotional, public, practically valuable Trojan Horse, but don’t forget to hide your message inside. Wein was not selling just another cheesesteak, but a conversation piece. PUBLIC. Sadness and contentment decrease arousal, slow us down and make us relax, leading us to share less. A number of people have tried to shed light on the subject including Nir Eyal and Chip and Dan Heath, but in this summary we’ll give into Jonah Berger’s Contagious: Why Things Catch On. (It’s in the Triggers chapter and is relevant to Triggers so I’m putting it in this section). There may not actually be a sale at all, but “setting a higher reference point made the first deal seem better even though the price was higher overall.”, So you are aware of the power of the word ‘sale,’ in a study, using the word ‘sale’ by an item when the price didn’t change at all increased sales by more than 50 percent. “Great game mechanics can even create achievement out of nothing. You may not have realized it, but often times in bars or coffee shops, the employees stuff the tip jar before their shift. Owen Exec. Jonah Berger says we share useful information because we want to help and if we can help it reflects well on us. This can be because the actual deal itself exceeds expectations (for example, the percentage off is so unbelievable) or because the way the deal is framed makes it seem that way.”. They would be wrong. Not just virality but valuable virality.”. One of the things he concluded was that triggers help drive ongoing word of mouth. The example of the anti drug “say no” campaign was also extremely interesting. Contagious: Why Things Catch On - Ebook written by Jonah Berger. They figured out how to take support for an abstract cause—something not typically observable—and make it something that everyone can see.”. The author says it’s because of triggers. Jonah Berger introduces his book by discussing the importance of word of mouth marketing. How’s that possible with all the excitement and uniqueness that Disney World commands? Jonah suggests brands use scarcity and exclusivity to make customers feel like insiders. He states that one of the reasons people over-share is that “if situational factors end up making us physiologically aroused, we may end up sharing more than we planned.”, So if you need to learn certain information from someone, but you know it may be difficult to get out, you could bring them to a place where they will be physiologically aroused. KitKat was seeing a constant slump in sales that seemed hard to stop. People shared the video of a blender smashing marbles because it was interesting and unexpected. Did the words “yellow wristband” automatically trigger the brand “LiveStrong” for you? The way people actually make decisions often violates standard economic assumptions about how they should make decisions. Triggers do. To avoid this you want the brand or product benefit to be “integral to the story. One of the things Jonah asks and then answers is, “Is there something that generates social proof that sticks around even when the product is not being used or the idea is not top of mind… It’s called behavioral residue.”. Thus a key factor in driving products to catch on is public visibility.”. Humans like to share things — it is one of the main reasons social media is so popular. One of the prime purposes of why we share, whether you are aware of it or not, is that it helps us look good in the eyes of others. Contagious: Why Things Catch On. The rule is basically that if an item is less than $100 than a percentage off seems more than a number discount, while the opposite is true with anything above $100. Jonah’s example for this is airline mile programs. Apple white iPod headphones were a big help in spreading it. Game mechanics “motivate us on an interpersonal level by encouraging social comparison.” People like to compare how they do compared to others, especially if it is a comparison against their friends. "Going viral" is, at its heart, people telling their friends about something interesting, useful, funny, or just plain cool. They think in terms of narratives… Stories carry things. It was reversed where and advertising campaign linked KitKat to coffe, so that people would use the coffe trigger to eat a KitKat bar. Be wary whenever you see the word ‘sale.’, Another part of prospect theory is “diminishing sensitivity,” which “reflects the idea that the same change has a smaller impact the farther it is from the reference point.”. People often imitate those around them.” This concept of doing things strangers do, or what are friends do is often referred to as ‘social proof.’ You’ve probably seen this in action, such as when a crowd of people are looking at something, you start looking too, wondering what is going on. A company needs to “give people a way to make themselves look good while promoting their products and ideas along the way.” He says, “There are three ways to do that: (1) find inner remarkability; (2) leverage game mechanics; and (3) make people feel like insiders.” (36). Icons can be used, or badges (fourth square). Now I don’t suggest doing that, but people may do that to you, so be wary of yourself if you are entering into a potential high arousal state. According to the book, “The reason? Write down why you think people are doing something. Contagious content, like a good joke, is inherently viral because it spreads regardless of who is doing the talking Social currency – people share things that make them look good to others People don’t just care how they’re doing, they care about their performance in relation to other Did you know the reason why the Apple logo on laptops doesn’t face you when the laptop is closed? For a lot of people it does. They must not be deployed in a certain fashion, and they are not even all needed at the same time. You’ll be fighting to keep us as consumers demand more and more. Comment below or tweet to us @storyshots. Putting a product on sales, even when the price stays the same, increases demand. According to Jonah Berger, the driving force behind products and ideas catching on—or, in his words, becoming “contagious”—is “social transmission,” a process otherwise known as word of mouth. Game Mechanics help create social currency because it can give a positive impression to others in our group whose opinions we value. Instead, they are based on psychological principles of how people perceived and process information. Emotion. By Jonah Berger ... SUMMARY. Some ideas catch on for simply being better than the alternatives. Berger says that it works internally as we all love achievement, but also because we want to do better than others. Jonah Berger says there are three ways to use social currency: More remarkable products are talked about twice compared to less remarkable one. Attractive pricing is another obvious why products and ideas spread. “Scarcity is about how much of something is offered. Aka if you are use to seeing an item at $1, then seeing it at $4 will seem insane even if that may be the norm in that place. Somewhat counter intuitively, making promotions more restrictive can make them more effective.” I believe this makes logical sense. The author says that focusing on feelings is likely to increase sharing and even seemingly dull products can find a way (example of Google search with the story of a couple told through their search queries). Dr. Berger has spent over 15 years studying how social influence works and how it drives products and ideas to catch … Overall, “Contagious” is a great overview of the primary features that drive things to spread in a viral way. Jobs realized that seeing others do something makes people more likely to … Check out the video and audio summary on StoryShots. If you’re a little confused about this. He says that, “Sights, smells, and sounds can trigger related thoughts and ideas, making them more top of mind…Why does it matter if particular thoughts or ideas are top of mind? Airlines turned loyalty into a status symbol.”. Contagious: Why Things Catch On. Making people feel like insiders work because If something is supposed to be secret or limited access people love to share it. The author says that for product above 100 it’s better to highlight the amount and for products worth less than 100 it’s better to state the percentage. Top of mind means tip of tongue.”, He says, “one key factor is how frequently the stimuli occurs” and that “linking a product or idea with a stimulus that is already associated with many things isn’t as effective as forging a fresher, more original link.”, “It is also important to pick triggers that happen near where the desired behavior is taking place” and to “think about the environments of the people a message or idea is trying to trigger.”. When we see the same triggers over and over, the product comes back to our mind over and over. Is there an important insight that we missed? We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Just as perceptual processes influence whether we see a particular sweater as red or view an object on the horizon as far away, they also influence whether a price seems high or a deal seems good.” (163), “One of the main tenets of prospect theory is that people don’t evaluate things in absolute terms. “Game mechanics are the elements of a game, application, or program — including rules and feedback loops — that make them fun and compelling.”. Unfortunately, there is a certain degree of luck involved in virality, but there are also specific characteristics that are commonly found in all products and ideas that are contagious. Then ask “Why is this important?” three times. Read this book using Google Play Books app on your PC, android, iOS devices. He introduces the STEPPS formula that will help you to reach your sales goals and create a must-have product. That of activation, or physiological arousal.”, And as a side note, though you probably know what arousal is, but just in case, “arousal is a state of activation and readiness for action.”. What is then the secret to make our messages contagious? How’s that possible with all the … Jonah Berger says that the campaign actually increased the likelihood people would try drugs because it brought drug use into public observable territory. by Kim Hartman This is a summary of what I think is the most important and insightful parts of the book. In his award-winning, New York Times best seller Contagious Why Things Catch On, author Jonah Berger gives countless real-life examples of the mysterious methods employed to capture the logic defying attention of the masses. This one is straightforward. Highly recommended, and you can get it here on Amazon. By looking at popular culture, Wharton professor Jonah Berger analyzes what makes an idea take off. People talk about more cheerios than Disney World. Even this summary is hard to read, because Berger’s editor failed to catch writing elements, like mixed metaphors, that detract from the message: “Contagious … And sharing something that others will find interesting will give us social points. These values also have to be easy for people to see. Consistent throughout all viral content, are six key ingredients or “STEPPS:” Social Currency; Triggers; Emotion; Public; Practical Value; Stories – none of which are mutually exclusive but are all independently available for use on your product or idea wherever and whenever it makes the most sense. Articles that mainly provoked sadness were not shared widely. He talks about this concept while talking about an item that is an INCREDIBLE VALUE. So make a product easy to see and highlight how its valuable for the person to use and how its pricing is of value. My notes Once again, I suggest you read the book so you can understand the studies and stories he uses to back up these points and to understand them more in depth. “Kahneman received the Nobel Prize for his work with Amos Tversky on what they called ‘prospect theory.’ The theory is amazingly rich, but at its core, it’s based on a very basic idea. Observability. “Just like many other animals, people care about hierarchy,” aka we are prone to status displays. He goes into several case studies of how marketers were able to link up certain triggers with certain brands causing sales to rise because people would buy them more oftenbecause they were be triggered to do so whether they were aware of it or not. A Summary of ‘Contagious: Why Things Catch On’ by Jonah Berger a. “As prospect theory illustrates, one key factor in highlighting incredible value is what people expect. This behavior can be labeled as social currency — we build our social wealth up by sharing and influencing others in a positive way. Download for offline reading, highlight, bookmark or take notes while you read Contagious: Why Things Catch On. What do hot dogs tend to make you think about if you’re an American? They do this because it provides social proof that other people are tipping. Similarly, when a presentation has finished and the presenter asks if there are any questions nobody asks anything, because while nobody else has probably understood, the public and visible tell us that we are probably the only ones who didn’t get it. Exclusive things are accessible only to people who meet particular criteria.”. Social currency (people looking cool for sharing), Triggers (reminding people about our product), Public (can people see we are using the product?). Before diving into triggers, Jonah talks some more about word of mouth. In fact, “sadness articles were actually 16 percent less likely to make the Most E-Mailed list.”, Jonah Berger suggests to marketers that “rather than harping on features or facts, we need to focus on feelings; the underlying emotions that motivate people to action.”, The way he suggests marketers go about this is by mentioning advice from the book Made To Stick by Chip and Dan Heath, which says “talk about using the ‘Three Whys’ to find the emotional core of an idea. Hotmail for example, put in the signature the link to sign up for the free service (it was the first free service). CHAPTER 1. September 4, 2017. You don’t want to end up asking yourself the next day, “Why did I say that?”. So how does this help build word of mouth? September 4, 2017. So if we are on a plane with turbulences, we might tell the person sitting next to us more than we would normally like. Social Currency. “When trying to generate word of mouth, many people forget one important detail. Just remember, one of the ways to help make a product or idea contagious is to somehow make it publically observable. : Few people have time to seek out the best content in this ocean of. But that doesn’t mean you can’t somewhat increase the odds with some good knowledge, research and creativity. Contagious analyzes that traits and characteristics that viral products, ads and ideas all have in common. Promotional offers that seem surprising or surpass expectations are more likely to be shared. Let’s talk about ‘Prospect Theory’ and the economist Daniel Kahneman. Does the word “peanut butter” trigger anything for you? The ads basically said that drugs are bad but also, crucially, that other people are doing it. … Jonah Berger goes after the idea that you have to hit the opinion leaders to make your message spread. Game mechanics are levels and badges that make us want more. ). Scarce things are less available because of high demand, limited production, or restrictions on the time or place you can acquire them… Exclusivity is also about availability, but in a different way. And sharing something that others will find interesting will give us social points. If possible, marketers should implement game mechanics into their marketing and product plan. If something is built to show, it’s built to grow. Stories (what narrative can we latch onto our idea? They evaluate them relative to a comparison standard, or ‘reference point’.”(163). What about the color red and the word soda together? Because accessible thoughts and ideas lead to action.”, He continues on with multiple stories about this effect in action. Make the customer try to achieve something or accrue some kind of currency, such as Regal crown club points that make a person more likely to visit a Regal theater again rather than a competitor because they want to accrue more points. Jonah Berger is a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and bestselling author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On and Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior. Happiness, awe, and joy are considered positive, while sadness, anger, and anxiety tend to be viewed as negative. Jonah Berger says that we don’t think in terms of information, but in terms of narrative. Introduction: Why Things Catch On. People are more likely to share something if they think it’s a secret, since it shows … I think this is a fascinating thing to consider from both the viewpoint of a purchaser and a seller. The author provides a few examples of a few products that effectively used the observability principle. A lesson or moral. “Behavioral residue is the physical traces or remnants that most actions or behaviors leave in their wake.” He goes in-depth into a case study about this effect. I suggest reading the book to get the full understanding of behavioral residue. Have you ever wondered why items sometimes use a percentage instead of a number when they offer a discount? Readers might suppose that Jonah Berger’s new book, “Contagious: Why Things Catch On,” would shed light on these famous cases of viral content. Make sure your desired information is so embedded into the plot that people can’t tell the story without it.”. I can't speak for anyone else and I strongly recommend you to read the book in order to fully grasp the concepts written here. 1-Page Summary 1-Page Book Summary of Contagious . Dr. Berger has spent over 15 years studying how social influence works and how it drives products and ideas to catch on. What Jonah found was that the most viral articles usually included high arousal emotions. The STEPPS For example, many college students don’t enjoy drinking, but drink anyway because externally everybody is drinking and all others whom don’t enjoy drinking are actually keeping it private. Jonah Berger presents a very few interesting cases on how what’s public influences us even when in private most people would think otherwise. Contagious: Why Things Catch On examines why certain media goes viral—videos, articles, memes—and others never get shared at all. Owen Exec. The book starts by laying out what the author believes are the Six Principles of Contagiousness called STEPPS: social currency, triggers, emotion, public, practical value, and stories. People share things that makes them look good. What did you learn from Contagious? Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger Summary This book is perfect for anyone who wants to learn more about how to spread ideas, increase brand awareness, or grow their customer base. He describes two types of word of mouth: immediate and ongoing. Advertising also helps, Jonah Berger says that word of mouth is more effective than advertising because it’s more persuasive and more targeted. Jonah Berger says blending your advertising into a story is equivalent to building a Trojan Horse. Berger starts with the example of  Howard Wein. What was your favorite takeaway? In ‘Contagious – Why Things Catch On,’ Professor Jonah Berger explains why some topics catch fire and get shared around the world, while other issues or pieces of communication get ignored. It’s 6 characteristics they all share, and if you want to go viral, you better incorporate them in your marketing. The benefit of a product that can be seen in the public eye is that “every time people use the product or service, they also transmit social proof or passive approval because usage is observable.” Its usage by others thus helps advertise it to others. Summary. In fact, we will see in Chapter 3 of this summary that one is better than the other to increase the chances of an idea going viral. Mars. One way he says to do this is by “breaking a pattern people have to come to expect” or just focus on what about your product makes it stand out from all the rest. There are two types of emotions that lead people to sharing (or not sharing): Emotions that make us share are arousing emotions like anger, awe, anxiety or excitement. This is important for word-of-mouth growth because when people share their achievements, they also “talk about the brands or domains where they achieved” them. Contagious Book Summary & Review in PDF The Power Moves - Jonah Berger is a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller Contagious: Why Things Catch On. I’m afraid that virality is, in good part, the product of pure randomness. Sexual Market Value: A Practical Analysis... Virality is not the product of pure chance, You can increase the odds of going viral by incorporating some of the 6 principles. Observability. If you are a marketer, you don’t want this to be the case for your product. We see this theory in use all of the time when it comes to the concept of a ‘sale’ at a store. It makes a great pair with a few more books on marketing and influencing such as “Make to Stick“, “The Tipping Point“, “Triggers“, “Brandwashed” and “Influence“, the big classic by Cialdini. Well, if they are marketing effectively, they are using the rule of 100. The author holds a master's degree from La Sapienza, department of communication and sociological research, and is a member of the American Psychology Association (APA). He did it by using great ingredients and asking for an exorbitant price: a hundred dollars. Each time you do this, note your answer, and you’ll notice that you drill down further and further toward uncovering not only the core of an idea, but the emotion behind it.”, So when you are deciding how to market things, select high arousal emotions because “simply adding more arousal to a story or ad can have a big impact on people’s willingness to share it.”, He ends this chapter talking about the concept of over-sharing. In an analysis of thousands of New York Times articles to better understand why certain … As Jonah puts it, “If the tip jar is empty, their customers may assume that other people aren’t really tipping and decide not to tip much themselves either. Cheerios are seen often at the supermarket and breakfast every day remind people of Cheerios. He says though that the message in itself is more important than the messenger. Jonah Berger says that it’s six principles: It’s important to notice that Jonah Berger says that the principles are not like ingredients. “People don’t think in terms of information. “Making something more observable makes it easier to imitate. One of the things sharing does is that it helps us signal to others what our identity is. Discover how six basic principles drive all sorts of things to become popular. People like to be part of an exclusive group, so if they can get a deal others can’t, it will make them feel special and more likely to purchase. The case study is about how a popular yellow wristband came about. “Contagious” is easy to read, insightful and highly applicable. How viral happens. This complete summary of the ideas from Jonah Berger’s book “Contagious: Why Things Catch On” reveals the six key principles that make a product or an idea contagious. My thought on each chapter is detailed in this series, but here is a very brief summary of the take-home messages. It basically said that everyone was not paying, that it was OK not to pay and that those paying must have been idiots (similar example for wood in the park). “Another factor that affects whether deals seem valuable is their availability. We share our likes, opinions, and more, letting other people know who we are. He is considered an expert on word of mouth, social influence and viral marketing. Contagious: Why Things Catch On [Speed Summary] Ever since Gladwell’s Tipping Point, the business press has been adding flesh to the bare bones theory that what make’s a product or idea ‘go viral’ is 1) The Law of the Few (seed with influencers), 2) The Stickiness Factor (play to psychological biases), and 3) The Power of Context (shape to fits the context of adoption and use)…. Of course, as the author himself says, “Contagious” is not a recipe which you can apply and be guaranteed of success. Jonah Berger beings by saying that one of the elements of virality is simply having a great product. It’s important that the story is relevant to the product, or the product has to be a key part of the story. Emotion. Berger explains that “regardless of how plain or boring a product or idea may seem, there are ways to make it contagious…” if you know the right way to do it. About The Author: Jonah Berger holds a PhD in marketing and is currently a professor at the Wharton School. Contagious reveals the secret science behind word-of-mouth and social transmission. Judgments and decisions are not always rational or optimal. They were one of the first in the know, and now they’re sharing it with you. The example of the music industry was simply a big laugh for me. TRIGGERS. “Researchers find that whether a discount seems larger as money or percentage off depends on the original price.”. Principle 4: Public ideas, products or social things make them much easier to share and imitate. The articles that were shared the most in his analysis of the NY Times Most Emailed list were articles that provoked awe, excitement, amusement, anger, or anxiety. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck: Notes & Review, The Art of Everyday Assertiveness: Notes & Review, 7 Proven Responses to 7 Offensive Jokes (W/ Examples), WIIFT: When & How to Use It (& When to Avoid It), Dating For Low Self-Esteem Women: Consequences & Fixes. It isn’t the only reason we share though. Reading over some uncharitable reviews on Amazon, I saw that some felt Berger’s observations were “obvious,” and “common sense.”I disagree.Deep truths can seem obvious when someone smart simplifies them for us, but the process of actually identifying them is not a trivial one. “We need to build our own Trojan Horse — a carrier narrative that people will share, while talking about our product or idea along the way.” The important part of this being the “while talking about our product or idea along the way.” We have all known some cool ads that we shared with others, but that didn’t make us at all talk about the product or idea. The more public something is, the more likely people will imitate … Public. People like to share awesome things, so if your marketing can get across that the product is remarkable, then it will help its word of mouth build. People rarely go to Disney World and few things remind them of it. Why is it that some new products and ideas gain widespread popularity while others fail to “catch on”? When the ads said that only 37% of music was being paid for, the author implies the message was counterproductive. Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger's new book, Contagious: Why Things Catch On, distills six principles that cause people to talk about … Make your product remarkable, so people will want to share it. If You Want Your Message to Spread, You Need to Get People Talking, and Imitating b. It makes them look cool for sharing something reserved. When it’s woven so deeply into the narrative that people can’t tell the story without mentioning it.”, So make the message you are trying to tell critical to the story. Built to show, built to grow. Well, I've been reading the book Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger, and it outlines 6 factors that makes things go viral. “The key, then, is to not only make something viral, but also make it valuable to the sponsoring company or organization. Information or a take home message.”, Most people are very skeptical of traditional advertising these days and of people trying to persuade them to do things. The author says that depending on the price of the product it can be better to list the discount as in percentage or as an amount. According to Jonah, “leveraging game mechanics requires quantifying performance… Metrics need to be created or recorded that let people see where they stand.”, The great thing is that you can gamify things you wouldn’t think are a game. Jobs realized that seeing others do something makes people more likely to do it themselves.” He wanted an observer to see the Apple logo the right way, making it more enticing for them to want to buy it. There are emotions that most people deem positive while there are other emotions that are deemed negative.