Presentation: Contagious

Contagious: Jonah Berger is a marketing professor who studies why things go viral, why they catch on, how they spread by word of mouth. Anything can go viral: a song, video, figure of speech, article of clothing, game, food item, toy, dance, an idea. Anything. Wouldn’t it be ideal if your business, your product or service became so popular that you could pick and choose exactly who you wanted to work with? Jonah has identified the six principles that drive things to become popular, using the acronym STEPPS:

  • Social Currency – People care how they look to others, so find the inner remarkability.
  • Triggers – Top of mind means tip of tongue, so consider the context so people are frequently triggered to think about your product or idea.
  • Emotion – When we care, we share. Focus on feelings rather than function, and kindle the fire using high arousal emotions.
  • Public – The more public something is, the more likely people will imitate it. Design products that advertise themselves and create visible behavioral residue.
  • Practical Value – News you can use. Useful things get shared. Highlight value, and package knowledge that people can pass on.
  • Stories – Information travels under what seems like idle chatter. Stories are vessels. Have a story or narrative that people want to tell, which carries your idea along for the ride.

Download his workbook and see more detail on the STEPPS chart on his website.