Contagious: Why Things Catch On


As a matter of disclosure I read this book for the Credit Union Leaders Book Club group on LinkedIn. I serve as one of the managers for the group and led the weekly discussions.

The book revolves around the concept of building social currency. Social currency is very different from social media. The author, Jonah Berger, opens with the statement that social media only accounts for 7% of positive word of mouth for a business.

Jonah Berger

The book itself is full of examples that cause the reader to stop and think about what their perceptions of certain situations. An example is which of the following do you think gets talked about more: Honey Nut Cheerios or Walt Disney World? You may be very surprised by the answer. He also talks about the triggers for immediate word of mouth versus ongoing word of mouth.

I have found the following quote from the book to be true: “When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate others.” Berger then goes into a less academic treatment of the Prospect Theory than Daniel Kahneman did in his book “Thinking, Fast and Slow”.

Thinking, Fast and Slow

The book ends with the following summary:

To make things Contagious remember the six principles STEPPE:

Social Currency – We share things that make us look good

Triggers – Top of mind, tip of tongue

Emotion – When we care, we share

Public – Built to show, built to grow

Practical Value – News you can use

Stories – Information travels under the guise of idle chatter

I recommend this book for anyone who is interested in making their service and/or product become more visible.


About caseywheeler

My interests include: Model trains, Reading, Genealogy, New York Yankees and helping organizations be successful.
This entry was posted in B2B, B2C, Business Strategy, Leadership, Sales, Self Improvement and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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