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Book Review of Contagious by Jonah Berger

Contagious_BookCoverWhy do somethings catch on, while others don’t? Why are some stories and songs more popular than others? Why is rumor and negativity more contagious than facts and positivity?

Jonah’s book, Contagious, highlights some of such viral content, and factors that help make an idea big / sell-able and infectious.

The six principles of contagiousness shared by Jonah focus on the simplicity, effectiveness and credibility of ideas that make it viral. Social Currency (social relevancy, resonance), Triggers (stimuli that prompt people to think about related things), Emotion (evoking connect in terms of emotion), Public (creating behavioral residue that sticks and is visible), Practical Value (monetary value and otherwise) – all wrapped in to Stories (creatively shared for the viral effect).

Smartly, the six principles form the acronym – STEPPS, and showcase “the underlying psychological and sociological processes behind the science of social transmission”.

Diving into each of the principles, as separate chapters, Jonah takes you on a splendid journey of different brands that made it big, solely on “personal recommendation”. Remember: people share things that make them look good to others.

Rich with stories as examples, the book is a good read for anyone and everyone, who aims to be viral in this digital age. As long as the content is useful, worthy, and smartly put using one or more STEPPS, you can harness social influence and be contagious!

Contagious

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