Contagious: Why Things Catch On

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Simon and Schuster, Mar 5, 2013 - Business & Economics - 244 pages
84 Reviews
New York Times bestseller and named Best Marketing Book of 2014 by the American Marketing Association

What makes things popular? Why do people talk about certain products and ideas more than others? Why are some stories and rumors more infectious? And what makes online content go viral?

If you said advertising, think again. People don’t listen to advertisements, they listen to their peers. But why do people talk about certain products and ideas more than others? Why are some stories and rumors more infectious? And what makes online content go viral?

Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger has spent the last decade answering these questions. He’s studied why New York Times articles make the paper’s own Most E-mailed List, why products get word of mouth, and how social influence shapes everything from the cars we buy to the clothes we wear to the names we give our children. In this book, Berger reveals the secret science behind word-of-mouth and social transmission. Discover how six basic principles drive all sorts of things to become contagious, from consumer products and policy initiatives to workplace rumors and YouTube videos.

Contagious combines groundbreaking research with powerful stories. Learn how a luxury steakhouse found popularity through the lowly cheese-steak, why anti-drug commercials might have actually increased drug use, and why more than 200 million consumers shared a video about one of the seemingly most boring products there is: a blender. If you’ve wondered why certain stories get shared, e-mails get forwarded, or videos go viral, Contagious explains why, and shows how to leverage these concepts to craft contagious content. This book provides a set of specific, actionable techniques for helping information spread—for designing messages, advertisements, and information that people will share. Whether you’re a manager at a big company, a small business owner trying to boost awareness, a politician running for office, or a health official trying to get the word out, Contagious will show you how to make your product or idea catch on.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ChristineEllei - LibraryThing

In this day and age so many people believe that advertising and/or social media drive trends. New words have even been coined to describe the phenomenon … trending or viral. But are those two things ... Read full review

Review: Contagious: Why Things Catch On

User Review  - Goodreads

A word of mouth conversation by a new customer leads to an almost $200 increase in restaurant sales. A five-star review on leads to approximately twenty more books sold than a one-star ... Read full review

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Why Things Catch On
Social Currency
Practical Value 1 5 5
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N otes 21 5

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About the author (2013)

Jonah Berger is Associate Professor of Marketing at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. His research has been published in top-tier academic journals, and popular accounts of his work have appeared in The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalScienceHarvard Business Review, and more. His research has also been featured in the New York Times Magazine’s “Year in Ideas.” Berger has been recognized with a number of awards for both scholarship and teaching. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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