Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy

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Crown Publishing Group, Oct 21, 2008 - Business & Economics - 256 pages
7 Reviews
How much do we know about why we buy? What truly influences our decisions in today’s message-cluttered world? An eye-grabbing advertisement, a catchy slogan, an infectious jingle? Or do our buying decisions take place below the surface, so deep within our subconscious minds, we’re barely aware of them?

In BUYOLOGY, Lindstrom presents the astonishing findings from his groundbreaking, three-year, seven-million-dollar neuromarketing study, a cutting-edge experiment that peered inside the brains of 2,000 volunteers from all around the world as they encountered various ads, logos, commercials, brands, and products. His startling results shatter much of what we have long believed about what seduces our interest and drives us to buy. Among the questions he explores:

Does sex actually sell? To what extent do people in skimpy clothing and suggestive poses persuade us to buy products?
Despite government bans, does subliminal advertising still surround us – from bars to highway billboards to supermarket shelves?
Can “Cool” brands, like iPods, trigger our mating instincts?
Can other senses – smell, touch, and sound - be so powerful as to physically arouse us when we see a product?
Do companies copy from the world of religion and create rituals – like drinking a Corona with a lime – to capture our hard-earned dollars?

Filled with entertaining inside stories about how we respond to such well-known brands as Marlboro, Nokia, Calvin Klein, Ford, and American Idol, BUYOLOGY is a fascinating and shocking journey into the mind of today’s consumer that will captivate anyone who’s been seduced – or turned off – by marketers’ relentless attempts to win our loyalty, our money, and our minds.
 

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Martin Lindstrom is a great writer. I stayed engaged through the entire book. I like how he begins with clarifying that this study is and is not about manipulation of the public. That he has turned down jobs if they are unethical. And that it is about consumers being aware of why they buy and how they could potentially be manipulated. The subconscious activity blew my mind. The fact that cigarette companies have become like the bigger, stronger, more resilient virus (my words) that came back even stronger after television ads were cut. How targeted visuals, and appealing to the senses is more effective than logos. And the religion section. Holy cow. This guy really just wraps up so so many themes in one book. He weaves in many concepts, including the nature of people. We want control, security, and this basic need drives so much of what we consume- even if it does not make logical self. I can hardly judge, and he also admits to falling prey rediculousness.
As a business owner myself, this is a marketing resource GEM. So many of my own endeavors and reasonings for making a decision have been transformed. I am thankful Martin Lindstrom did this remarkable study. Lots of great books on the brain. I like "The Brain that Changes Itself" and "This is Your Brain on Music." Seriously though, "Buyology" is hands down, a must read.
 

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If this were the first book I had ever read about the concept then it would have been interesting and illuminating. What is the concept? People operate on a level below their consciousness and that level influences what we do more than the conscious level does. Knowing about the concept and influencing it is crucial to businesses as well as individuals who need to defend against the manipulation.
There are much better books that cover similar issues. The invisible gorilla or books by Dan Arielly come to mind.
 

Contents

FOREWORD BY PACO UNDERHILL
1
2ZTHlS MUST BE THE PLACE
37
31ILL HAVE WHAT SHES HAVING
53
1cANT 121 CLEARLY
68
Ritual Superstition
88
Faith Religion and Brands
107
xv 0111 CHOOSE You?
128
Predicting the Future
166
Ts SPEND THE NIGHT TOGETHER
177
ZCONCLUSION
194
APPENDIX
207
NOTES 21
217
BIBLIOGRAPHY
225
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

MARTIN LINDSTROM is one of the world's most respected marketing gurus. With a global audience of over a million people, Lindstrom spends 300 days on the road every year, advising top executives of companies including McDonald's Corporation, Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, Microsoft, The Walt Disney Company and GlaxoSmithKline. He has been featured in The Washington Post, USA TODAY, Fast Company, and more. His previous book, BRANDsense, was acclaimed by the Wall Street Journal as one of the ten best marketing books ever published.

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