Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger

Business Book Roundtable

May 6, 2014: 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Join us for a lively discussion with author and professor Jonah Berger about his new book, "Contagious." Lunch included. 


The Union League Club
65 West Jackson Boulevard
Chicago, Illinois

Event Details

Why do things catch on?

If you answered, "Advertising," think again.  People don't listen to advertisements, they listen to their peers.  So why do we talk about some products and ideas but not others?  Why do some stories and rumors spread and others not?  What makes online content go viral?

Marketing Professor Jonah Berger of the Wharton School of Business has spent the last decade studying these questions.  He has examined why an article from The New York Times makes the paper's own "Most E-Mailed" list, why a product ignites word-of-mouth endorsements, and how social influence shapes our decisions about the cars we purchase, the clothes we wear, and the names we give our children.  Professor Berger reveals the secret science behind word-of-mouth and social transmission, distilling six key principles that drive the contagion factor behind consumer products, policy initiatives, workplace rumors, and YouTube videos.

Combining ground breaking research with powerful stories, "Contagious? explains how a luxury steakhouse found popularity through the lowly cheesesteak, why anti-drug commercials contribute to increased drug use, and why more than 200 million consumers shared a single video about seemingly the most boring household product ever: the blender.  "Contagious" provides a set of specific, actionable techniques for leveraging these principles to help spread information by creating messages people will share.  Whether running a large company, a small business, or a not-for-profit, whether a candidate for public office, a community organizer, or a healthcare professional, "Contagious" shows how to boost awareness of your message, your brand, or your call to action.


$35 members/$40 non-members


Register Online

Deadline: 5/5/2014


11:30 AM-1:30 PM: Lunch, Author Presentation

Speaker Profiles

Jonah Berger (Speaker)
Professor of Marketing, Wharton School of Business

Jonah Berger is a Marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.  He has published dozens of articles in top-tier academic journals, and popular accounts of his work have appeared in places like The New York Times, The wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Science, Harvard Business Review, Wired, BusinessWeek, and Fast Company.  His research has also been featured in the New York Times Magazine's annual "Year in Ideas" issue.

Berger has been recognized with awards for both scholarship and teaching, including being named Wharton's "Iron Prof" in recognition of awesome faculty research.  He received his Ph.D. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.


Julie Voelker