Contagious: Why Things Catch on

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What’s in it for me? Learn how to make your ideas or products spread like wildfire.

you can make your product contagious if you follow the STEPPS formula. STEPPS stands for social currency; triggers; emotions; public; practical value and stories.

2 October, 2017 20:25 Share

Contagious ideas or products can propel a company to success – and they’re often the result of smart planning.

While certain products seem destined to capture the attention of the public, their popularity is often the result of intentional design and smart planning.

2 October, 2017 20:28 Share

Word of mouth is a bigger influence on what people share than advertising and marketing.

word of mouth is the main reason behind up to one-quarter of all the purchases we make.

2 October, 2017 20:29 Share

simply because they value their opinions above the assertions of advertisements.

2 October, 2017 20:30 Share

Another reason word of mouth is more effective than advertising is that it targets potential consumers more precisely.

2 October, 2017 20:30 Share

Sharing certain things makes us look good to others – which means we’re more likely to share them.

we gain a lot of pleasure from sharing, even if what we share are just our personal opinions.

2 October, 2017 20:30 Share

sharing can also cause us to feel good indirectly – by making us look good.This is because sharing is a form of social currency, with which we “buy" the favor and interest of others. For this reason, people are simply more likely to share something if they think it will impress their peers.

2 October, 2017 20:32 Share

People also like to share when they’ve won something and to display the badges and trophies they’ve collected. To that end, many companies offer rewards to customers for using their products or services.

2 October, 2017 20:34 Share

Some products and ideas consistently trigger other ideas, making them more influential and contagious over time.

What makes us share consistently over time are triggers.Triggers are a crucial factor in making a product contagious

2 October, 2017 20:35 Share

products or content make especially good triggers when they prompt someone to make an associative connection to the context or environment in which they are presented.

2 October, 2017 20:36 Share

for a product to become contagious, it can’t be only immediately interesting or remarkable. Instead of triggering short-term, immediate interest, the most successful products trigger interest that’s long term, or ongoing. And to achieve that, you have to create an effective trigger.

2 October, 2017 20:36 Share

Products and ideas are more likely to be shared if they arouse strong emotions.

But which ideas, and which types of information, are we more likely to share? In short, anything that arouses our emotions.

2 October, 2017 20:39 Share

although it appeared readers were more likely to share positive rather than negative articles, the most shared articles were, in fact, those which stimulated emotions that could spur their readers to take action.

2 October, 2017 20:39 Share

We’re most influenced by products, ideas and behaviors if we observe them frequently.

It turns out that if a behavior (or product or idea) is observable, its influence and, thus, contagiousness is increased. That’s because we tend to imitate the behavior of others, so the products or activities we see used or performed regularly by other people become enticing and influential to us.

2 October, 2017 20:39 Share

why do we often imitate the behavior of people around us? One explanation can be found in the psychological concept of social proof: we do what others are doing because we assume that, since it appears to be so popular, there has to be a good reason for doing it. Clever marketers can take advantage of this tendency, by making their logo or brand particularly noticeable

2 October, 2017 20:41 Share

If a product or idea is simple, practical and useful, it’s more likely to become contagious.

we’re more likely to share those things we find useful.That’s because useful and practical things make our lives easier, so we consider them “shareworthy."

2 October, 2017 20:41 Share

the Rule of 100: If a product is priced below $100, a percentage discount – such as “10% off" – will appear like a more attractive deal than “$10 off." Conversely, if a product costs over $100, a numerical discount will be more appealing than a percentage discount. Another useful principle for making products contagious is to always consider their potential audience. While you might think that targeting as broad an audience as possible will increase the chances of something being shared, it turns out that products that are narrowly focused on a smaller, more specific group of people are actually shared more widely.

2 October, 2017 20:42 Share

Narratives and stories are inherently shareable, and they carry powerful information within.

we think in terms of narratives or stories, which can contain important information, rather than in terms of the bits of information or data themselves.

2 October, 2017 20:42 Share

entertaining but factual stories can smuggle ideas and information into our minds without us being aware.

2 October, 2017 20:42 Share

Final Summary

The key message in this book:A contagious idea, behavior or product is something a great number of people are impelled share with others. To create a contagious product, simply follow the STEPPS formula: make sharing information about your product a form of social currency for people, use triggers and arouse emotions to get them to share consistently and frequently, make your product publicly visible and practically valuable, and finally, build a compelling story around it.

2 October, 2017 20:43 Share

About the book:

Contagious (2013) examines what makes a product, idea or behavior more likely to be shared among many people. The book explores the question of whether contagious things are accidents or the results of good marketing, or whether contagiousness is an inherent feature of a product, idea or behavior. It argues that, far from being merely a matter of luck, the majority of very popular products and ideas are the result of a combination of savvy planning and execution.

About the author:

Jonah Berger’s work specializes in social influence and virality – or why certain products and ideas catch on. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he is Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.