The Principles Behind Why Things Catch On
After viewing a funny video on YouTube,
why do we forward
it to friends
or post it to Facebook? Why do we retweet one tweet, but not a
different one? Why do we find ourselves walking to the nearest Starbucks when
it’s time for a “pick me up?” Jonah Berger dissects why things catch on his book
Why Things Catch On.
“Contagious” reminds me of related books that dissect why
ideas and businesses catch on, or “go viral.” One such book is Adam Penenberg’s
Loop, which dissects the growth behind a number of Internet start-ups (e.g.
Netscape, Paypal, flickr and “Hot or Not”). Seth Godin’s
covers how to “Turn Your Ideas into Epidemics by Helping
Your Customers Do the Marketing thing for You.”
The Importance of Understanding the “Why”
While I have yet to read “Contagious” (it’s on my reading
list), I find these sorts of books fascinating. But looking beyond fascination,
organizations (both businesses and non-profits alike) can
leverage these books
to further their cause. By understanding the “why” of contagious content or
viral loop businesses, we can model these successes to create our own.
How the Starbucks Experience Became Contagious
We read Berger’s book and decided to apply his six
principles (of why things catch on) to the growth of Starbucks. Have a look at
How the Starbucks Experience Became Contagious from DNN
Infographic: Six Secrets of Contagious Content
published an interesting
that applies Berger’s six principles to the creation of
contagious content. Content marketers: be sure to review the bulleted list of
tips that the infographic lists under each of the six principles. We’ll look to
apply them to our own content.