Ever wondered why some brands go viral, what triggers it, or if there is a fairy godmother somewhere behind the scenes waving her wand? Truth is, there is no fairy godmother. It all starts with making your brand, product or idea remarkable.
To shed more light on this, we decided to share Jonah Berger’s six principles you can use to get people talking about your product or idea from his book “Contagious:Why Things Catch On”.
1. Social Currency
If sharing your product or idea makes people look or feel good then they are likely to share. Why do people who buy the latest phones e.g iPhone flaunt it for everyone to see? Because it makes them feel a certain way. That’s how your product or idea should make your consumers feel. People like to share cool stuff, we share photos, videos etc that makes us look or feel good, interesting, exclusive, remarkable or in-the-know. Note that top of mind is tip of tongue.
By finding a trigger, you tie your product or idea to familiar or frequent situations. This makes your product or idea top of mind at every of those moments. An example is the Kit-Kat’s ‘a break’s best friend’ campaign about eating a Kit Kat whenever you take a coffee break. Always ask yourself, does your message relate to something familiar or frequent with your consumer/audience?
High-arousal emotions always get people to share such as anger, excitement and the list goes on. However, focus on the positive emotions like hope, excitement and stay away from sadness. No one likes to share sadness but anger is fine if it’s not directed at your brand. Remember, people will share what they care about.
Make your brand visible so that people will notice it and want to follow it as our decisions are sometimes influenced or affected by what everyone else is doing. “If it’s built to show, it’s built to grow”- Jonah Berger. What this simply means is that, if you want something to catch on, it must have a public element to it. Example
5. Practical Value
Does it help? If it helps people, they are likely to share it.
Stories are powerful in conveying information and can come in form of an ad or even your real life brand story. Is your product a relevant part of a cool story such that the story can’t be told without your brand mentioned? An example of such story is the “Will it Blend” series by Blendtec. Tell a story related to your product or idea, people don’t share product details, they share interesting stories.
Now, this doesn’t mean your product or idea must have all of Jonah Berger’s six principles explained above to be remarkable, but it sure helps if it has at least two of it. Like the man himself said, “Virality isn’t born, it’s made”.
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