Two days later, she experiences a seizure, then another, then another. The challenge became popular when people uploaded videos of themselves completing it. Learn how to make a product a source of social currency. An important caveat to this principle is that not all emotions are equally effective at getting people to discuss your product or idea. Contagious Summary. Quick Summary: Contagious shows how entrepreneurs and marketers can make their content more viral and products more shareable. This drives word of mouth because, as you learned in Chapter 2, people tend to talk about the things they’re thinking about. Think of a product or idea that you’ve created or that you support. Its members bragged about their use of the site, spreading the word about its existence in the process. The final attribute of contagious products or ideas is that their marketing materials tell people a story. To encourage Yelpers (the people who use Yelp) to be active contributors, it created an Elite Squad program in which membership is awarded only after nomination by existing members. Sharing is a form of currency that we use to gain favor and interest from others. The fourth principle is that the idea must be visible to others. In Contagious, you’ll discover how to make your product or idea the subject of word of mouth. Because of this scarcity and exclusivity, gaining access to Rue La La’s products became a form of social currency. If you can link your product or idea to a trigger, you can ensure that people are driven to think about it a lot. Likewise, try to make them relevant to your target audience’s local environment.). Ideas and products are not all the same. It’s true that social media makes it easier to spread information. Why is it that some new products and ideas gain widespread popularity while others fail to “catch on”? If you went up to someone and started suddenly listing the nutritional facts and figures about these sandwiches, people would be confused and probably a bit bored. For example, you could tell customers that you expect the product to sell out quickly. Contagious Summary Introduction Every day, people introduce countless new ideas to the world—for example, new products, new political policies, and new businesses. Even if there’s no story to be told, humans will make up one in order to relate the facts. If it is, people will take advantage of the deal themselves, but probably won’t tell others about it. In this type of conversation, people aren’t too bothered about talking about something cool or interesting. Making a product or service scarce and exclusive gives social currency to the people who do manage to get hold of it. The owners could offer affordable rates and convenient hours of operation. Shortform summaries help you learn 10x faster by: Here's a preview of the rest of Shortform's Contagious summary: Every day, people introduce countless new ideas to the world—for example, new products, new political policies, and new businesses. People also like to collect badges and trophies from companies as a way of showing off how much they’ve used their products. For instance, they mention the name of the game that they won, or tell people how fun the game is. If these three factors aren’t the true causes of virality, what is? When people meet these mechanics’ requirements and “win” the game, they get the sense that they’ve achieved something. This will help you generate amusement in your potential customers. It’s more powerful because it’s more persuasive since it comes from a trusted source, and it’s more powerful because it’s targeted at one specific person. For example, if a new daycare center is opening up in Philadelphia, the owners should try to figure out how they can appeal to local parents. Therefore, people are more likely to share something if they think it will make them look good in front of their peers. If a product or idea is presented without any emotional appeal, people will be less likely to spread it. Second, sharing a story about a product or idea is much more socially acceptable than simply spouting facts about it. For instance, New York’s prestigious Please Don’t Tell bar uses a secret entrance that makes its patrons feel like insiders, which means they’re more likely to share their experience with others. Download "Contagious Book Summary, by Jonah Berger" as PDF. Learn how making people feel high-arousal emotions will get them talking about your product; the role discounts play in generating word of mouth; and how Kit Kat used coffee to boost their popularity. Triggering people to think about your product helps to generate word of mouth because people tend to talk about whatever’s on their mind in a given moment. These days, the responses that physiological arousal triggers are somewhat less life-or-death. Rather than using your marketing materials to bombard consumers with information, give them the bare basics about your product or idea and focus the rest of your marketing efforts on making them feel a high-arousal emotion. People talk about brands and share them with others constantly online where there are over 100 million conversations about brands every hour. Think of a product that you’ve created (or want to create). The acronym stands for social currency, triggers, emotions, publicness, practical value and storytelling. In order to spread a product or idea, it is important to recognize the appropriate medium for your audience. They’re of a higher quality than competing products or ideas and are therefore more attractive to consumers. So much to read, so little time? This is a compelling story about a man who did something remarkable. A study suggests that we gain pleasure from sharing our opinions and looks good when we do so. Crucially, people also love sharing this information with other people. Some ideas spread with unexpected consequences. Charities ask people to donate a dollar while watching an infomercial on TV, but this is the wrong time and place for donations because it requires too much effort from potential donors. For example, the Barclay Prime steakhouse in Philadelphia added a $100 cheesesteak made with Kobe beef, lobster tail and black truffles to their menu. However, because it made drug use seem normal, the campaign actually caused an increase in drug use. Shortform has the worldâs best summaries of nonfiction books and articles. Therefore, if you can get people talking about your remarkable product, they’ll probably make it seem even better than it actually is. (For instance, is it easy for people to observe your customers using the product or service? For a discount to be worthy of sharing, it needs to be truly amazing. When bragging about their “special” status, these customers will spread word of mouth about the scarce or exclusive thing they’ve bought. This site has been successful because it’s simple and easy to use for everyone in the neighborhood. First, they know that telling someone an interesting story will give them social currency—that telling it will make them seem interesting, too. For instance, it’s not usually publicly obvious which makeup products people buy because they apply makeup in the privacy of their own home. However, despite all odds against it, this steakhouse thrived thanks to its contagious ideaâa simple concept that made people want to come back again and again. Some purchasing decisions are naturally observable—for instance, which cars people buy. A product or idea also needs a trigger, as well as emotional weight and value in social currency. They’re only willing to talk about things that they think will add to their social currency, not deplete it. Create an amazing discount and apply it to your product. However, Philadelphia is a big city and many viewers might not live near the daycare center or need childcare services themselves; therefore, advertising on TV may not be as effective as other forms of marketing like Facebook ads or flyers distributed at nearby schools or community centers where working mothers are likely to see them and become customers for this daycare center. Businesses have a simple rule of thumb for offering discounts. Sharing is an important aspect of life. In this book, you’ll learn how an octogenarian farmer became an internet sensation and why we’re more likely to share something if it triggers our emotions. Many businesses use social currency to their advantage. Contagious Book Summary About The Author: Jonah Berger holds a PhD in marketing and is currently a professor at the Wharton School. While social currency is a powerful influence on our sharing, it wonât lead to us telling others about those things more than just a few times. Contagious is the result of years of research and study, breaking down the principles of contagiousness and how you can create valuable virality within your business. Therefore, makeup brands may struggle to generate the word of mouth that comes from a product’s use being publicly visible. It just needs to use the six principles of contagiousness: Social Currency, Triggers, Emotion, Public, Practical Value, and Stories. Physiological arousal is, in simple terms, your body being readied for action. For example, a makeup brand could give its customers a “free gift” that they’ll use in public, such as a branded tote bag. 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