Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Book Review: Buy-ology

For months I had been waiting to read "Buy-ology", a book by Martin Lindstrom about the science behind consumer behavior.  I first heard about the book on Duct Tape Marketing's podcast, but had to wait for it to be delivered to my library branch before I could check it out.

Martin Lindstrom is a well respected branding expert.  The book is an exploration of what Lindstrom and his researchers learn when they use brain scanning technology to test consumers' reactions to marketing messages... so it's not hard to see how this book is interesting...

What Lindstrom finds is rather shocking.  We learn that most of the traditional anti-smoking ads are ineffective because they actually trigger cigarette cravings in the brains of smokers.  We also learn what I suspect most marketers have always had a hunch about, that consumers buy products for different reasons than they say.  For example, a consumer might say they purchased a product because it had all the features they were looking for when in reality, they bought the product because they thought it would make them cool.  I won't spoil all of the great nuggets in this book for you, but trust me, you'll have a hard time putting it down.

The book is very well written.  Each chapter flows into the next and the research questions are laid out like a mystery that the reader is working through with Lindstrom as he receives the results for each of the studies that are conducted.  It was for this reason that I found myself reading upwards of 50 to 75 pages each time I would pick it up.

Worth a read for anyone interested in what REALLY happens when we shop.  You can learn more about the book and Martin Lindstrom on his site.

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