Why Things Catch On

Contagious Cover ArtFrom Livestrong wristbands and catchy music videos to Google’s new mini-story commercial campaign, companies increasingly rely upon people’s desire to share interesting information with each other.   Jonah Berger’s Contagious: Why Things Catch On isn’t just a marketing manual, it’s an approachable analysis of what exactly gives a product the potential to go viral. He suggests that what wildly popular videos and advertising success stories have in common are a mix of six factors, including social currency, triggers, emotion, and practical value, that make them irresistible to the consuming public.

If you’re interested in reading more about popular behavioral economics, try Malcolm Gladwell’s bestselling The Tipping Point, which details the point at which an idea or product explodes onto the public’s consciousness.