Top 10 Jonah Berger Inspirations at FOCI14

Jonah Berger, and his latest book, ‘Contagious:
Why Things Catch On
‘ was one of our keynotes today at FOCI14. Not to be too
much of a fangirl, but Jonah is the speaker I was most eager to see at FOCI14.  

Following are my top 10 quotes from his presentation (and picking
only ten was hard!):

How tasty are your messages? More like broccoli
or more like a cheeseburger? And can we make our messages tastier?

‘Word of mouth generates more than twice the
sales of advertising,’ a famous McKinsey & Company quote. And if we want to
understand WOM, we have to understand why things catch on (thus his book).

A book publisher sent him 2 copies of a book
that they wanted him to recommend to his students. They said, here is a copy for
you to review, and please share the second copy with another person you may know
who might enjoy it. So they basically enlisted him to help with WOM: they knew
he would be likely to be connected to other qualified people. Jonah describes
this (positively) as a marketing ‘hack.’

7% of all WOM is online. Yes, 7%. Most WOM is
offline. It’s more important to understand why people share, not how they

6 key attributes to getting things shared/spread/WOM:
Social Currency, Triggered, Emotion, Public, Practical Value, Stories. 

‘Secrets’ knowing things others don’t know is a
form of social currency. People like to share inside information. Making people feel like insiders:
powerful motivator of preference, WOM Story of the ‘secret’ bar in NYC that is
always booked (I found an article about PDT: link).

How did a company get 200M views of a video
about blenders? They blended an iPhone. The key: Surprising, Novel, or Interesting.
( A totally mundane product’a blender’and sales went up over
700%. (doing something crazy just for crazy is not effective/doing something
crazy that is on point, that is effective)

Kit Kat sales down, so they launch a campaign to
associate it with break time. Break time was a good choice to associate with
because break time happens frequently. It’s a trigger.

‘Social proof’: in a strange city, you pick a crowded
restaurant (not an empty one)’you see the other people as a signal of
information. If we can’t see what people are doing, we can’t use it as a
signal. So how do we make the private public? A restaurant can have a big window
so you can see the crowd.  (Apple made their
headphones white’it became a signal. Easier to see, easier to imitate.) What
can you do to make your private public?

Good stories are ‘Trojan horse stories’. They
have a hidden message.  Subway’s Jarrod
story: tells us you can eat their sandwiches and be healthy.

Thank you Jonah!!!!
This post was written by Kathryn Korostoff. Kathryn is currently the President of Research Rockstar, the only independent company dedicated to market research training (online and in-person).  Prior to Research Rockstar, Kathryn completed the transition of Sage Research’an agency that she led for 13 years’to its new parent company, Chadwick Martin Bailey. Over the past 25 years, she has directed more than 600 primary market research projects and published over 100 bylined articles in various magazines, including Quirk’s Marketing Research Review and the MRA’s Alert! Magazine. She also currently serves as President for the MRA’s New England chapter., 508.691.6004 ext 705, @ResearchRocks. She offers a gift to her new FOCI friends here: LINK.