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Contagious

Contagious

Why Things Catch On

Read by: Keith Nobbs
  • reading group guide
  • bestseller
Why do certain products and ideas go viral? Dynamic young Wharton professor Jonah Berger draws on his research to explain the six steps that make products or ideas contagious.

Why do some products get more word of mouth than others? Why does some online content go viral? Word of mouth makes products, ideas, and behaviors catch on. It’s more influential than advertising and far more effective.

Can you create word of mouth for your product or idea? According to Berger, you can. Whether you operate a neighborhood restaurant, a corporation with hundreds of employees, or are running for a local office for the first time, the steps that can help your product or idea become viral are the same.

Contagious is filled with fascinating information drawn from Berger’s research. You will be surprised to learn, for example, just how little word of mouth is generated online versus elsewhere. Already praised by Dan Ariely and Dan Gilbert, and sold in nine countries, this book is a must-read for people who want their projects and ideas to succeed.
  • Simon & Schuster Audio | 
  • ISBN 9781442359383 | 
  • March 2013
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Contagious includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Jonah Berger. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Introduction

What makes products and ideas catch on and become popular? Why do some stories get shared more than others? Why are some rumors infectious? What makes things “go viral”? In Contagious, Jonah Berger shares the secret science behind social transmission. Why we talk about and share some things rather than others. Why we pass things on. Filled with engaging stories and comprehensive research Contagious is an essential tool for anyone that wants to make their product or idea spread.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1)Consider and discuss the most recent email forward you received. It might have been a news article, video, or story. What aspects of the STEPPS framework did it adhere to? Do the same analysis for the last viral video you watched, hot restaurant you tried, hit movie you saw, etc. Which concepts in the framework apply?

2)Which examples that Berger mentioned (e.g., Blendtec, Dove’s Evolution, white iPhone earbuds) had you been aware of before the see more

Articles About This Book

Mustache-man_300

Posted on Tips on Healthy Living

Posted by Jonah Berger

Well, sort of. If you're wondering why so many guys are sporting moustaches this month, they're raising awareness for men's health and prostate cancer as part of "Movember." In Contagious: Why Things Catch On, author and Wharton professor Jonah...

About the Author

Jonah Berger
Photograph (c) Deborah Feingold

Jonah Berger

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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