Summary of Contagious

Why Things Catch On

Simon & Schuster, more...

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Contagious book summary
Provoke buzz about your product or idea by generating word of mouth (and not just tweets).


7 Overall

8 Applicability

6 Innovation

7 Style


If you want your product, service or cause to become the talk of the town – or the talk of the Internet – don’t rely on advertising. People trust their friends’ and acquaintances’ opinions far more than paid promotions. The challenge is getting your offering on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Marketer Jonah Berger explains why some topics blaze their way around the world while others are ignored. His solutions go beyond social media; as he says, Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook are mere tools. If you can forgive him for inventing unnecessary extra jargon (like “inner remarkability”), Berger will show you how to turn your product or cause into a topic of public conversation, a subject that everyone wants to discuss. getAbstract thinks this entertaining take on fueling the buzz will intrigue marketers, advertisers and sociologists alike.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What factors cause people to talk about and talk up products, ideas and services
  • What six steps you can take to make your product, cause or idea catch on
  • How you can narrate stories that cause people to want spread the word about your product


Hot or Not?
When a product, idea or topic becomes the newest hot talking point, it has gained “social contagion”; this is a good thing, and it can happen spontaneously. For example, a new house of worship can naturally experience a boom of interest within a community, or a pressing political...
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About the Author

Jonah Berger, a business writer, teaches marketing at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.

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Contained in Knowledge Pack:

  • Knowledge Pack
    Building Buzz
    How to put word-of-mouth to work for your product or service.

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