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Contagious: Why Things Catch On Hardcover – Mar 5 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (March 5 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781451686579
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451686579
  • ASIN: 1451686579
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #995 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sammy on Oct. 3 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
great read. everything seemed like common sense while reading it, but it brings together the most important aspects on how to make thing viral.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne Dennison on Nov. 7 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Initially I picked this book up because of the value Jonah Berger seemed to place on talents like Malcolm Gladwell and the ability to engage others with storytelling. I was not disappointed. In Contagious, Berger takes commonly known facts, wraps them in related and interesting stories and then turns it all into useable insights that are so easy to understand we wonder why we never figured this out ourselves...except of course that Berger has done the heavy lifting of all the supporting research and then translated it for us. I read the book in one sitting and happily recommended it to others. A great read and practical too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven on Aug. 28 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Right in Chapter 1, he talks about a Harvard University study was conducted where students were asked to pick between:

Option A: $50,000/year where everyone else would receive $25,000/year
Option B: $100,000/year where everyone else would receive $200,000/year

The majority of them chose Option A. They cared more about being the leader of the pack than actually making more money. Crazy! That's the kind of eye opener this book is and it all applies to marketing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SBuckle on Aug. 3 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I saw Berger speak at an Art of Marketing conference and bought into his thinking immediately. His book has only reinforced it. 'Contagious' is about how and why ideas, services and products spread. Based upon years of academic research, Berger has arrived at a system named STEPPS that acts as a litmus test for word-of-mouth strength. STEPPS stands for Social Currency, Emotions, Public, Practical Value and Stories and if a good idea or program checks each of these off, it has a high likelihood of becoming the next viral sensation that increases sales exponentially. Three key takeaways for me:

1) Social is not the panacea of virality. Berger, through years of peer-reviewed research, argues that social accounts for only 7% of word-of-mouth, which probably gives every creative agency and community manager jitters, but it shouldnt necessarily. Social mediums can be used as a way to spread ideas within communities already established and its these communities or trusted networks that have value. Word-of-mouth happens within these trusted networks, because the people know each other better and choose to share stuff that they know will resonate with them. If Tommy is into baseball, I'm not going to tell him about the latest baby stroller, but I will share a video of the amazing catch from last night's game - even watching the video makes me automatically think of Tommy. People skew what they share based upon others interests so reception increases. You need to light a bunch of little fires rather than one big one, which means a tweet to a million people has less value than 100 tweets to smaller bases.

2) Making a brand public is important so other people can see it, but the opposite is true for stuff you dont want to spread.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marie-Josée Racine on May 8 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ce livre m'a été recommandé dans le cadre d'un cours sur les réseaux sociaux. Les exemples qu'on y trouve sont très imagés et pertinents. Mais en plus, c'est écrit d'une telle façon qu'il est toujours difficile de laisser le livre. On a l'impression de lire de petites histoires qui nous font cheminer vers l'objectif final de compréhension globale du concept à la base du livre: qu'est-ce qui fait en sorte que les produits/services/idées deviennent aussi populaire et d'autres non.

Je n'hésiterais pas à recommander ce livre à quiconque s'intéresse au marketing, à la mise en marché de produits ou services, a un esprit d'entrepreneur, ou s'intéresse à la publicité et aux médias sociaux de près ou de loin.

After reading this book, I know why it catches on!
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Format: Hardcover
The book is easy to digest and offers some interesting real world examples. Unfortunately those examples are really just quick mentions without any real data behind them. I felt this book would be a great intro for someone who is new to the idea of "viral" but if you are in marketing or advertising and looking for a deeper understanding behind it then this book is not it. I find it odd that an official review said that this is a great companion to "The Tipping Point" because that book offers a much more rich reading experience with more detailed narratives. I felt like I was reading a long blog post with this book.
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By Reader Writer Runner TOP 50 REVIEWER on June 3 2013
Format: Hardcover
Jonah Berger packs his fascinating new book, "Contagious" with examples of viral campaigns, each explained using painstaking analysis into the science of social transmission. According to Berger, six essential factors contribute to contagious ideas; together they form a blueprint for creating ideas and messages that spread like wildfire.

"Social currency" means we share things that help us compare favorably to others; "triggers" are ideas that attach themselves to top of mind stories or occurrences; "emotion" boils down to caring = sharing; "public" describes the tendency for people to follow others' leads; "practical" taps into the human desire to give advice and offer tips; and "stories" act like vessels that carry brands and information.

This book offers plenty of advice to professional marketers but also clearly and interestingly explains to every reader how viral campaigns eschew overt marketing messages. They tap into consumer wants, desires and emotional needs, causing the consumer to share his/her experience. And this sharing ultimately reaches a much broader audience than any advertisement can.
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