Contagious – Recommended Read

I GEEKED out on this book! I’ve been, for years, fascinated with the ponderings of ‘what makes people move’, ‘why do some things catch on’, ‘why does/does not this catch on’,’ how can I get X to catch on’, etc. etc. This book lays it all out. It’s the perfect read after consuming Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath (another book I loved).

Contagious gives you a handy formula to help communicate your product, service, or idea’s value and increase the probability that it will catch on.

A quick and easy take away for you to start applying some of the information in this book today (without waiting until you read it) is this: Utilize to of the six STEPPS Jonah Berger outlines: Social Currency and Stories.

Social Currency: (defined by Jonah Berger)
“People care about how they look to others. They want to seem smart, cool, and in-the-know. So be sure to find the inner remark-ability and make people feel like insiders.”

Stories: (defined by Jonah Berger)
“Information travels under what seems like idle chatter. Stories are vessels. So build a Trojan horse. A narrative or story that people want to tell which carries your idea along for the ride.”

If you’re in the hotel industry ask yourself. What makes my property unique? What makes my place so special that customers choose us over somewhere else? Remember that people want an experience. Utilize both your unique property and, possibly, the unique location of your property.

Contagious BookAt our 18 room boutique hotel we had no TV’s anywhere on the premises. It was one of the things that made us unique. We were striving to get people to unplug. This is one of the things that set us apart from the competition. No TV. Can you imagine?How did we help them create a Story that they would want to share (Social Currency)?

To give guests an experience (Story) that they want to talk about with their friends (Social Currency), we needed to help guide guests into activities where they could do just that. Yes, we could have just sat on our laurels and provided the space for them to unplug. Sometimes this was just what the doctor ordered. However, just sitting in a remote place won’t do the trick. People still want something to “experience”.

How do you begin? It begins with a customer service “basic” – asking questions! Ask your guests questions. Find out why they’re visiting, what their interests are, and what they might be interested in finding/doing/learning. Your goal is to find out information to better help guide your guests to have an amazing experience. Be a little bit nosey. You’ll be able to tell straight away if they’re up for talking or not.

For us, we might send guests to the local falls, show them the baby Great Horned Owls, point them to a great cycling road, provide cribbage and cards for them to enjoy on the patio, send them to a local winery, or set up croquet and badminton on the grounds. We helped people to create an experience that translates to a Story that they can tell when they go home they want to tell their friends. (Social Currency.)

What are you known for?

Is your facility known for its spa? Is it in the mountains or by a unique town? Take for instance Joseph, Oregon and Leavenworth, Washington. If you’ve heard of these places you probably already have a picture of the things they’re known for. Joseph: art, beautiful outdoor recreation and scenery. Leavenworth: German architecture and gorgeous mountains. What kind of experience can you help your customers to have?

To get customers to return to YOUR place of business of course give them stellar customer service first and always. Next, help them create an experience. Guests will want to tell their friends about their Story and guess who benefits from that?

Grab this book: Contagious for some practical tools to help your business grow!


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