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Contagious: Why Things Catch On | [Jonah Berger]

Contagious: Why Things Catch On

Why do some products get more word of mouth than others? Why does some online content go viral? Word of mouth makes products, ideas, and behaviors catch on. It's more influential than advertising and far more effective. Can you create word of mouth for your product or idea? According to Berger, you can. Whether you operate a neighborhood restaurant, a corporation with hundreds of employees, or are running for a local office for the first time, the steps that can help your product or idea become viral are the same.
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Publisher's Summary

Why do certain products and ideas go viral? Dynamic young Wharton professor Jonah Berger draws on his research to explain the six steps that make products or ideas contagious.

Why do some products get more word of mouth than others? Why does some online content go viral? Word of mouth makes products, ideas, and behaviors catch on. It's more influential than advertising and far more effective.

Can you create word of mouth for your product or idea? According to Berger, you can. Whether you operate a neighborhood restaurant, a corporation with hundreds of employees, or are running for a local office for the first time, the steps that can help your product or idea become viral are the same.

Contagious is filled with fascinating information drawn from Berger's research. You will be surprised to learn, for example, just how little word of mouth is generated online versus elsewhere. Already praised by Dan Ariely and Dan Gilbert, and sold in nine countries, this book is a must-listen for people who want their projects and ideas to succeed.

©2013 Social Dynamics Group, LLC (P)2013 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

What Members Say

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  •  
    Douglas C. Bates Boston, MA 04-01-13
    Douglas C. Bates Boston, MA 04-01-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Primer on Viral & Memorable Marketing"

    This is a must-read for anyone professionally involved in the creation of advertising. It's written for people without background on the subject, but does such a good job in organizing and clarifying the principles that it's a good read for even marketing veterans.

    Berger does an excellent job exploring and detailing the message elements that cause people to remember advertising messages and stories, and to want to pass around those stories (with or without embedded ad messages). The book explores 6 principles involved in why things catch on:

    * social currency
    * triggers
    * emotion
    * public
    * practical value
    * stories

    These principles serve as a checklist for the creation of advertising, especially any advertising that attempts to be viral.

    20 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    André ORLANDO, FL, United States 04-28-13
    André ORLANDO, FL, United States 04-28-13 Member Since 2011

    I love AUDIBLE! I never get mad at traffic jams and can listen to many different books, despite my short time.

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    "I will read it again!"

    This book is a great one-- I think it has more content than "The Tipping Point" from Malcolm Gladwell. Malcolm's explanation why things become popular or viral is because of weak ties... But Contagious goes deeper-- Jonah Berger finds 6 reasons. And it all makes sense.
    Very well written and with a great performance by Keith Nobbs.
    I bought this book to my father and brother and they are liking it.
    Read it, and you will like it too.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 03-12-13
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 03-12-13 Member Since 2002
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    "actionable!"

    Berger does a great job of breaking down the various elements that when working together, create a contagious effect. He then provides a recipe for maximizing the chance that your initiative will be contagious. Super narration and fast listen.

    16 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shane Lynch Montreal, Quebec, Canada 06-10-13
    Shane Lynch Montreal, Quebec, Canada 06-10-13 Member Since 2012

    I read a lot...

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    "Breaing through the ice."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I find that some of the case studies that were reffered to as evidence for his points were effective but at times lend themselves to other intrepretations from a marketing perspective which leaves doubt as to what really causes something to be contagious.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Taking on this question, whethere or not he is right or wrong is what makes it interesting. there isn`t much solid evidence or a clear reasoning for why something becomes contagious so it is a brave effort on his part to theorize in a book.


    Did Contagious inspire you to do anything?

    No. I feel like there are little nuggets of information which are useful but nothing mindblowing enough to make me incorporate it into my work and daily life as a marketer.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott ANAHEIM, CA, United States 04-02-13
    Scott ANAHEIM, CA, United States 04-02-13 Member Since 2012

    Zombies.

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    "Good, but..."

    ...while Berger does a godly job of outlining what I'm sure are some -- certainly not all -- of the finer points of "Why Things Catch On," I have a couple of gripes.

    First, the book is too short. In the end, I felt like I'd just read a long essay rather than a book of substance. Sure the content gave me something to chew on but would it have killed the author to include more real world cases?

    Did Keith Nobbs, the narrator, have a cold while reading this? Did he mispronounce some words? I can't be 100% sure until I read the text myself, but it seemed that way. Hey, nobody's perfect but I did rate the performance 4/5 stars. Overall, Nobbs did well.

    Other than that, great book. It almost didn't feel like I was reading something from the self help section!

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grant NANTUCKET, MA, United States 05-29-13
    Grant NANTUCKET, MA, United States 05-29-13 Member Since 2008

    caffeinated

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    "There's no magic to it."

    I work in the area of creative commerce and nearly all of the points made in this book about stickiness and compelling content on the internet were true 20 years ago in other media. The rules of engagement with consumers and audiences have not changed. Just the battlefield has. This alone is good to know, but does not justify the time one must dedicate to listening to this piece — a mixed bag, from which I'm not sure I gleaned many points that I can use in my daily work. It's just more of the same old pseudo-experts attempting to write "rules" on how creative people catch lightning in a bottle. Creative people, on the other hand, do not need those rules, as they know innately how to compel.

    17 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cameron Arvada, CO, United States 03-20-13
    Cameron Arvada, CO, United States 03-20-13 Member Since 2011

    The creative type.

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    "A very good book with good information"

    This is everything I hoped it would be. The information is solid and the presentation is very well done. If I have any issues it's that I didn't finish the book feeling like I had a great grasp on the techniques he talks about in the book. I'd love to see a PDF with some of it outlined like they have for other books. Just some cheat sheets and bullet points would be fine.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nathan OAKLAND, CA, United States 05-15-13
    Nathan OAKLAND, CA, United States 05-15-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Excellent on all fronts."
    What other book might you compare Contagious to and why?

    The Tipping Point. It's like the sequel to the Tipping Point, which I also enjoyed.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    Social Currency. I love that expression.


    Any additional comments?

    The narration blends very well with the content to the point the narrator sounds like he is the author. The book is a collection of lessons framed in stories that have practical application for just about any business. This is the first book that anyone of ambition should read or listen to. I've listened to it twice and will listen to it again in the future I'm sure.

    Highly recommended.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    angie leeds, al, United States 06-07-13
    angie leeds, al, United States 06-07-13 Member Since 2011
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    "One I will listen to again"
    Where does Contagious rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's in the same catagory that I put Malcolm Gladwell.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    This book has helped me in business and social circles and explains the psychology behind the connections.


    What about Keith Nobbs’s performance did you like?

    He held my attention with his narrative


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    social currency


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gisella BOULDER, Colombia 05-20-13
    Gisella BOULDER, Colombia 05-20-13 Member Since 2008

    gwalter

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    "Great read!"
    If you could sum up Contagious in three words, what would they be?

    Useful analysis and information presented in a very digestible organized fashion.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Loved the real world examples he used.


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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