Why Things Catch On

What makes things popular?

Some products, ideas, services, and behaviors catch on and become popular while others falter. Why do some things get more word of mouth than others, and how, by understanding that science, can we make our own stuff more successful?

Contagious reveals the secret science behind word-of-mouth and social transmission. Discover how six basic principles drive all sorts of things to become popular.  From consumer products and policy initiatives to B2B services and ideas and initiatives within organizations. If you’ve ever wondered why certain ideas get shared, brands get more word of mouth, or videos go viral, this book explains why.  It provides a set of specific, actionable techniques for helping information spread—for designing messages, advertisements, and information that people will share. Whether you’re a manager at a big company, a small business owner trying to boost awareness, or a health official trying to get the word out, this book will show you how to make anything more contagious.


An easy, breezy read, peppered with absorbing examples…If there was a “like” button underneath it, you’d probably find yourself clicking it. Financial Times

Entertaining, illustrative examples in the vein of Malcolm Gladwell or Freakonomics. Kirkus

Contagious provides…interesting insights into factors that can help make an idea, a video, a commercial or a product become infectious New York Times

Berger writes in a sprightly, charming style that deftly delineates the intersection of cognitive psychology and social behavior with an eye toward helping businesspeople and others spread their messages. Publishers Weekly

Contagious contains arresting — and counterintuitive — facts and insights. The Boston Globe

The book is just plain interesting. Berger’s cases are not only topical and relevant, but his principles seem practical and are easily understood The Christian Science Monitor

Contagious explains secret behind infectious ideas USA Today

A playbook for marketers Fast Company Unassigned


Translations of Contagious