I was on a hiking trip to summit Mt. Shasta a couple months ago, and on the drive up from Sacramento, my buddy mentioned he and his wife were trying crack the social influence aspect of starting a workout studio/gym. Their concept was definitely unique and really fit into the healthy, hip lifestyle of those in Southern California.
He mentioned this book called Contagious, Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger. I honestly have to say, this book wasn’t that great. It only focuses on a few cases that where the framework worked really well. At best, I think this is more of an anecdotal book. It doesn’t really seem like the author has tested these concepts, and it may be because the concepts are so simple and intuitive. So, I don’t claim I disagree with them, either.
In summary, I don’t think the ideas presented were “ah has!” or the framework to be particularly useful. But there were many points that were good to think through and some interesting case studies. I think the one that people often forget to design on is the concept of making things Public. So that was the most meaningful one for me on the importance of designing for exposure.
Here are the 6 STEPPS:
- Social Currency:
- Does talking about your product or idea make people look good? Can you find the inner remark ability? Leverage game mechanics? Make people feel like insiders?
- Consider the context. What cues make people think about your product or idea? How can you grow the habitat and make it come to mind more often?
- Focus on feelings. Does talking about your product or idea generate emotion? How can you kindle the fire?
- Does your product or idea advertise itself? Can people see when others are using it? If not, how can you make the private public? Can you create behavioral residue that sticks around even after people use it?
- Practical Value:
- Does talking about your product or idea help people help others? How can you highlight incredible value, packaging your knowledge and expertise into useful information others will want to disseminate?
- What is your Trojan Horse? Is your product or idea embedded in broader narrative that people want to share? Is the story not only viral, but also valuable?
If there comes situation where I need to develop a product, I’ll think through these 6 points and share the concept and outcome.