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Contagious

Why Things Catch On
Written by: Jonah Berger
Narrated by: Keith Nobbs
Length: 6 hrs and 50 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (55 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 28.21
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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

Average Customer Ratings

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Hate the voice, love the message.

Practical, actionable insights and methodologies backed up by real world applications. Very valuable book, and highly recommended.

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Blown away!

i'm so glad I picked up this book. I have taken notes! Definitely a book that you have to listen twice, as it has amazing points that aren't shared out there! thank you to the author and narrator!

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take it to the next level

it took me a while to finish but it was because I was looking for something I could apply it to.

I since have and I strongly suggest the book!

this book will help you when you are stuck. it will help you think of ways to approach the market so you succeed. heck, it will help you take you to the next level.

I have been able to use the the principles to brainstorm and think in different ways I didn't think to.

excited to apply and see where it takes me!

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The stories are so good

The stories and examples in this book are fantastic. I really loved how they highlighted the learning so perfectly for how to make your business or product more contagious. It is partly luck to have something go 'viral' but having an eye to what is catchy can definitely boost your visibility and sales.

I think my favourite story is the hidden bar Please Don't Tell. Brilliant marketing idea. #Audible1

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Must read!!!

If marketing is one of your interest then you must read this book! nice work

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Light book with simple yet great ideas!

This was an enjoyable light read/listen. Loved the narrator, he has great tone and enthusiasm. The ideas are straightforward and easy to apply. A solid foundation for marketing. It’s also short and sweet!

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  • Douglas C. Bates
  • 2013-04-01

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.

35 of 37 people found this review helpful

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  • ANDRÉ
  • 2013-04-28

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.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • A. Yoshida
  • 2016-08-21

Lots of examples of things that have gone viral

The six principles in making ideas contagious are:
1. Social currency (is it cool to know and spread the idea)
2. Triggers (is the idea associated with something that comes up often so it triggers people to talk about the idea)
3. Emotion (do people care about the idea; people share what they care about)
4. Publicity (is the idea or product out in the public)
5. Practical Value (are people eager to share the idea with friends)
6. Stories (is it delivered in a compelling story, not in a boring message)

The author gives many examples of how each of these principles can make an idea contagious. A supermarket tested playing different types of music and measured the sales of wine. When French music was played, more French wines were purchased. When German music was played, more German wines were purchased. Remember the Kit Kat "Gimme a Break" campaign? As people were taking a break and having a cup of coffee (trigger), the thought of a tasty snack popped into their head (emotion). Or what about the Budweiser's "Wassup" commercials? A bunch of Budweiser drinkers were saying "wassup," which then reinforced the behavior of hanging out with friends and drinking Budweiser. The Movember Foundation made charity giving for men's health (normally private information) into an annual conversation topic as men sported moustaches in November (public).

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Ryan
  • 2016-05-06

Started off good but...

The first couple chapters were fairly interesting. However, the rest seemed like regurgitated, general, obvious, useless information. Very simple concepts drawn out far beyond necessary. Alot of filler, waste of time.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Shane Lynch
  • 2013-06-10

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.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Andy
  • 2013-03-12

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.

19 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • Grant
  • 2013-05-29

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.

27 of 35 people found this review helpful

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  • angie
  • 2013-06-07

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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Dr A
  • 2013-09-14

Smart, but painfully verbose

The author’s advice on marketing makes sense, but I found his audiobook a stressful listen, as his endless stories, spelled out in a host petty details really distracted from the message. It would have benefited from a much tighter re-write.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Nathan
  • 2013-05-15

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