Episode 19 – Dr. Jonah Berger – Contagious: Why Things Catch On

Jonah Berger is a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and author of the recent New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellerContagious: Why Things Catch On.  Dr. Berger has spent over 15 years studying how social influence works and how it drives products and ideas to catch on.  He’s published dozens of articles in top-tier academic journals, consulted for a variety of Fortune 500 companies, and popular outlets like the New York Times andHarvard Business Review often cover his work.

Why do some things catch on while others fail?  What makes online content go viral?  And why do some products, ideas, and behaviors get more word of mouth than others?  Professor Jonah Berger examines the behavioral science that underlies these questions.  He examines how consumers make decisions, how ideas diffuse, and how social influence leads people to imitate (or avoid) what others are doing.

Berger is a Marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a visiting professor at Cornell Tech.  He has published dozens of articles in top-tier academic journals, and popular accounts of his work frequently appear in popular outlets like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR,Science,Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, Wired, Business Week, The Atlantic, andThe Economist. His research has also been featured in the New York TimesMagazine’s “Year in Ideas.”  Berger has been recognized with a number of awards for both scholarship and teaching, including various early career awards and being named Wharton’s Iron Prof (an award for awesome faculty research).

Professor Berger has helped all sorts of companies and organizations get their stuff to catch on.  From Fortune 500 companies to small start-ups, and multinationals to non-profits, Berger has helped increase product adoption, sharpen effective messaging, and develop marketing strategy.

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?

Jonah Berger has spent the last decade answering these questions. In Contagious, 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 cheesesteak, why anti-drug commercials might have actually increased drug use, and why more than 200 million consumers shared a video about one of the most seemingly boring products there is: a blender.

If you’ve wondered why certain stories get shared, e-mails get forwarded, or videos go viral, Contagious (and this episode) explains why, and shows how to leverage these concepts to craft contagious content. The book also 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.


Find jonah’s work here: http://jonahberger.com/


Share Button

Other Episodes You May Enjoy

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *