Mar 10/17
By Luke Armitage

Contagious

Each day, billions of people all across the globe are constantly communicating, interacting, and sharing. About 2.3 billion of them are doing it via social media.

Contagious

While most are ranting about politics, commenting on The Bachelor, or posting pics of their latest meal, many are talking about their favorite brands. And if you’re a growth-minded company, that’s a discussion you want to be a part of. So how do you get there? How do you get your message to spread, and your brand to resonate?

Jonah Berger addresses this in his book Contagious: Why Things Catch On. According to Berger, if you want your message to spread today, advertising is not enough. You need to get people talking and sharing. He discusses the concept of “social currency”— the idea that people like to talk about and share things that make them look good. The team here at Traina is constantly spending our social currency, talking about or posting recommendations for food, movies, clothes, bands, shoes, and more. You should hear our design team dissect an episode of Westworld over Monday morning coffee—it’s intense. But these products and brands aren’t part of our conversation by chance. It’s the consequence of a great product, and a carefully crafted brand strategy.

Developing your brand with the focus on customers, and their conversations, may sound simple enough. But it’s not always that easy. In his book, Berger mentions the now well-known laptop logo fiasco at Apple. Initially, Steve Jobs (who was relentlessly committed to the customer experience) insisted that the logo on top of the laptop should face the user. Makes sense, right? Years later, Jobs reversed his decision after it became clear that a mistake had been made. The correct orientation of the logo—something that today seems obvious—was upside-down to the user. By flipping the logo, onlookers were able to see it correctly, recognize the brand, and start a conversation.

Berger goes on to explain the real ROI of social currency. Any new conversation sparked by a customer who has had a positive experience at a restaurant leads to an increase in that restaurant’s sales of around $200. And for each five-star review that a book receives on Amazon.com, that same book will sell roughly 20 additional books.

Contagious, in clear and concise language, explains how to give your brand the best chance of getting in on the conversation, and spreading like fire. Don’t have time to read it? Then give us a call – the steps outlined in Berger’s book align with our own strategic approach for building intelligent brands.


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