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I am reading a book called Buy-ology. It is by Martin Lindstrom, who is apparently "one of the world's most respected marketing gurus."

Having never heard of Lindstrom before, he seems slightly self-inflated. Although perhaps he really is one of the world's best marketing minds. (A quick wiki search shows that Time listed him in their Top 100 influencers this past spring...) His ego aside, I'm finding the book fascinating. Not particularly surprising, but fascinating none the less.

In essence, it is a look at how our brains respond to brands & advertising of various sorts. Not how we respond consciously (as in a survey), but how our brain and therefore our subconscious responds.

What has surprised me so far is the assumption - or maybe reality - that we as consumers are largely unaware of the influence exerted on us. Personally, I feel hyper-aware of the brands that pull me in. I know that Apple has me convinced that if I use a Mac or an iPod, I will be more chic, more urban, more cool and with it. When I pick my toilet paper brand, I sometimes choose specifically against my "instinct." Walking down a street, I can smell (and crave) Tim Hortons without even seeing it's bright red sign. I know these things happen.

Am I the odd one out? Or am I more oblivious than I think? Maybe the reality is that we all live in the midst of this, but shrug it off on a routine basis, without the energy to consistently ask ourselves why? Why do I want a doughnut right now? Why would I pay $90 for a pair of jeans? Why do I care if I drink Pepsi over Coke?

Why? (I'm always sucked in by these three little letters. Maybe I should have gone into psychology...the human mind intrigues and mystifies me.)

Conclusion: I recommend this book. It doesn't hurt to be a bit more savvy to the ways that companies seek to influence us. It's touching on where we're headed in the future, and it's based on a three-year study that cost $7 million. It's gotta be accurate, right?


Laura J said…
I think you should be a reporter. Your intrinsic curiosity and ability to write is a killer combination.

This does sound like an interesting book. I think we have some awareness of the influence of advertising, marketing etc. but I don't think we fully get it.
Beth said…
I would LOVE to be a professional book reviewer. but I would probably be a bit more critical of this book. there were some good things in it, but a lot of generalizations and statements I think needed more backing up than he gave them...

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