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Contagious, Jonah Berger


"Social incentives, like social currency, are more effective in the long term. Foursquare doesn't pay users to check in to bars, and airlines don't give discounts to frequent flyer members. But by harnessing people's desire to look good to others, their customers did these things anyway –- and spread word of mouth for free."

p. 59

"The more the desired behavior happens after a delay, the more important being triggered becomes. Market research often focuses on consumers' immediate reaction to an advertising message or campaign. That might be valuable in situations where the consumer is immediately offered a chance to buy the product. But in most cases, people hear an ad one day and then go to the store days or weeks later. If they're not trigger to think about it, how will they remember that ad when they're at the store?"

p. 80

"And it did. Among students who had been instructed to jog, 75 percent shared the article--more than twice as many as the students who had been in the "relaxed" group. Thus any sort of arousal, whether from emotional or physical sources, and even arousal due to the situation itself (rather than content), can boost transmission."

p. 122

"Most products, ideas, and behaviors are consumed privately. What websites do your coworkers like? Which ballot initiatives do your neighbors support? Unless they tell you, you may never know. And though that might not matter to you personally, it matters a lot for the success of organizations, businesses, and ideas. If people can't see what others are choosing and doing, they can't imitate them. And, like the binge-drinking college students, people might change their behavior for the worse because they feel their views aren't supported.

Solving this problem requires making the private public. Generating public signals for private choices, actions, and opinions. Taking what was once an unobservable thought or behavior and transforming it into a more observable one."

p. 139

"Highlighting what people should do was much more effective. Over a different set of trails they tried a different sign that stated, "Please don't remove the petrified wood from the park, in order to preserve the natural state of the Petrified Forest." By focusing on the positive effects of not taking the wood, rather than on what others were doing, the park service was able to reduce theft."

p. 153

"If you want to craft contagious content, try to build your own Trojan Horse. But make sure you think about valuable virality. Make sure the information you want people to remember and transmit is critical to the narrative. Sure, you can make your narrative funny, surprising, or entertaining. But if people don't connect the content back to you, it's not going to help you very much. Even if it goes viral."

p. 200

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