Summary Post 1- Contagious chapter one

Contagious chapter one is about the aspect of social currency in relation to products, companies, and ideas catching on. Social currency is the level of positive impressions gained by social interactions. The promoting of companies and brands by word of mouth is a result of social currency because people want to seem cool, in the know, or exclusive by informing people of the brands and companies that they know about but others do not. When you are the first to tell someone something about a great product or restaurant, you look good, and the product is being promoted more than any advertising campaign or online promotion. There are many relatable and surprising examples given of social currency in this first chapter. Examples such as the interesting facts on the bottom of Snapple caps, the Please Don’t Tell secret bar, The Blair Witch Project, frequent flier miles, Four Square, and Rue La La all show the human desire to gain social currency. This social gain is a new type of currency that gets you a higher status among your friends, peers, and family members. This act of passing on information while advertising for a company can be brought about in three ways: 1) “inner remarkability 2) “leverage game mechanics” 3) “make people feel like insiders” (Berger 36). It is with these three techniques that the companies mentioned above produce social currency for their customers and in turn have become so successful. In the first chapter of Contagious, Jonah Berger educates the reader on the role social currency plays in getting products, companies, or ideas to catch on.


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