Dr. book Contagious. Berger is a Marketing

Dr. Berger is the author of the book Contagious. Berger is a Marketing professor at the Wharton Schoolat the University of Pennsylvania. Dr.

Berger also wrote the book, “InvisibleInfluence: The Hidden Forces That Shape Behavior” which was released last yearin 2016. Dr. Berger has helped allsorts of companies and organizations get their stuff to catch on. From Fortune500 companies to small start-ups, and multinationals to non-profits, Berger hashelped drive new product adoption, sharpen effective messaging, and developmarketing strategy.            Contagiousis a in depth elaboration as to why products, behaviors and trends catch on. Throughoutthe book, Berger describes six principles towards consumer behavior andmarketing strategies in which he calls STEPPS. The first principle is calledSocial currency.

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Berger describes this as people going to other people tellingsecrets because they want to share things that make them want to look good toothers. Berger goes on to suggest three ways of creating social currency. Thefirst is find remarkability. This is where you find remarkable things which isthings that are unusual and extraordinary.

The key to find somethingextraordinary is to analyze what makes it interesting or surprising to someoneelse. The second way that Berger suggests is make it a game. To explain thissuggestion, we always care about how we are doing compared to others, so gamesmotivate us in an intrapersonal level by encouraging social comparisons. This hasled to trophies and achievements in games, so they have metrics. The third andfinal suggestion that Berger made was make it exclusive. Berger explains that exclusivityhelps consumers feel good because they are obtaining something that noteveryone has which makes them feel good.

Exclusivity also makes the consumerfeel special and unique once they tell the others about what they have obtainedthat’s exclusive. To continue with the principles that Dr. Berger described,the second principle is triggers. Berger points out that we engage and talkabout products, brands or a company every day whether it is positive or negative.

Triggers are the origination of the word from mouth and contagiousness. Anexample that I can give is that if someone talks about hamburgers to you, youget the sense and thought of a barbeque or even a fast food burger. It leads toperception also. In order to make products and services contagious, we need toconsider whether they are triggered by everyday environment or stimulation ofthe target consumer. The next principle is emotion.

To describe this principle,Berger says that we are lured in by emotion, especially on the internet. If wesee something that is awe sense and makes us feel good and amazing, we will shareit because we are inspired. This results in positive reactions creating arousalsin people. However, other emotions can take place such as anxiety and angerwhich will also result in people sharing that video or article. He goes on to saythat in order to be contagious, we must focus on our feelings rather thantalking facts and statements because emotions motivate people to do actions.The next principle is public. The way Berger described this to me sounded likeit had similarities to brand awareness.

Berger says that companies use brandsthat catch the consumers eye through observability. If one see’s someone usingsomething, they are going to want to do the same or have the same product. Thesame can go for health awareness. If you see someone helping a cause, you aregoing to want to help to because of your visual perception. In a way, humans arelike herding animals which could be good or bad. In order to be contagious, ourproducts or service needs to be seen to the target audience and intended publicto start that brand awareness/trend. The second to final principle is practicalvalue.

Practical value is what we see the value of a product. If we see an itemthat is on sale that is never usually on sale, we run to go get it because itis a good deal and it is in value to our eyes since the price is always higher.Same goes vise versa, if we see an item that is always on sale, we are going toexpect that sale price to be the regular price thus changing our perceptionvalue of that item and what it’s worth price wise. Berger also goes on toexplain that short succinct messages that get to the point when advertising, isthe best way to get a consumer’s attention. He explains this is the best waybecause as a marketer, you are getting to the point and passing on the practicalvalue which is more effective than detail. The final principle that Dr.

Bergerexplained in Contagious is stories. Berger elaborates on this idea by statingthat when advertising a product, we tell stories, but people don’t think interms of information, they think in terms if narration. Consumers stick aroundwhen they hear a good story, so they stick around to hear the rest of it. Samegoes for virality.

When advertising, consumers can see the story just through visualizationthus influencing their behavior and perception on the product. Visual storieslike a billboard work just as much as verbal stories like a commercial. Bergersuggests that if we would like to come up with contagious content, we must comeup with a message that consists of social currency, emotion, and incognito imbeddedcode in our message, that it is hiding inside the message itself. This is sothat people can’t tell the story without all of this information. Contagious isfilled with many insights and certainly gives the reader much to thinkabout but is not without problems: it tries to do too much, brings upexamples from vastly different contexts without honoring the complexities ofthose contexts.

Any reader looking for specific ways of how towrite more sharable articles or books, for example, might be disappointedin my opinion but there is no technical discussion of the specifics here in anyarea of potential application, But context does matter. Writing remarkableor useful content, for example, requires that the writer have a deepunderstanding of his audience, something that is not trivial to accomplishbecause interest is relative, but Berger never discusses this or any othercomplication, which can create a false impression about the ease with whichthese principles can be applied in the real-world contexts. Indeed, becauseinterest is relative, the principle of remarkability really isn’t much of aguide.

Missing a deeper engagement with context, the book can’t help the readerdevelop a more nuanced appreciation of the mechanics of these ideas in reallife operation. In short, you walk away from the book wanting more


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