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Decoded: The Science Behind Why We Buy

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  660 ratings  ·  57 reviews
In this groundbreaking book Phil Barden reveals what decision science explains about people's purchase behaviour, and specifically demonstrates its value to marketing.

He shares the latest research on the motivations behind consumers' choices and what happens in the human brain as buyers make their decisions. He deciphers the 'secret codes' of products, services and brands
ebook, 280 pages
Published March 5th 2013 by Wiley (first published January 10th 2013)
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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Jeff Tyler
Apr 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant! I'm a Brand Manager and this not only has fascinating and amazing insights that explain e.g. why we buy brands and how advertising works but it's not merely theory, it's really useful for my day job too.
Tomas Ramanauskas
Those behaviorists-they quote each other perpetually and you are lost with the ratings, especially if you don't read their books chronologically. This one is full of pictures and diagrams (in color!) and focuses on a few things others leave out: "the job that you hire brands to do" and implicit goals which drives decisions (two main ones: promotion & prevention, plus quite a few others: security, autonomy, excitement). A decent addition to the whole behavioral book heap.
Apr 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
this is a very good book. no empty statements, no long description, no shit - only science, examples and hardcore. i would probably be even more impressed if did not read many books on the related subjects already (neuroscience, neuromarketing, brain functions, motivation theory). still, i like how the stuff i read earlier came up in this book and contributed to the whole system

the only reason i'm giving it 4 stars and not 5 is my personal interests - this book focuses mostly on material
Ethan Decker
Aug 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I've read a lot of marketing & marketing science books lately. This one's a great, solid overview of a lot of stuff. I'll be referring to this one at work, for sure. And some of the anecdotes are really thought-provoking for anyone in marketing and advertising.

I worry about the neuropsych results that are based on tiny samples, especially the ones that aren't validated by in-market results. But it's compelling stuff, and important to anyone who recognizes the massive biases and limitations
May 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books i have read so far this year, as a product designer i believe there is a huge potential in the insights that this book offers... I will definetly be reading this book several times in the next few years, so much to learn about in the field of human behavior.

Targeted towards marketers Decoded is more useful than interesting. It focuses on the neuroscience and mechanisms driving people to spend money. After each chapter there's a summary of what we've just learned (very justified because I'd sometimes forget to follow) and how to apply this knowledge in the marketing work so it felt a bit like a textbook.
Tarek Amr
Nov 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, ebook
Such a great book. The book shows us how branding works in order to influence our purchase decisions. I've written a detailed review for the book here.
Apr 22, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting look at marketing in light of recent scientific research into neurological workings of the brain. A bit technical for me but lots worth learning and thinking about if you are in sales or marketing, or own your own business.
Ярослав Бойко
on the book by Phil Bardeen
"Decoded: The Science Behind Why We Buy»

"Consumers are willing to pay 2-3 pounds for Starbucks coffee, although they know that for the money spent on two beakers, they could buy a whole pot in a supermarket. So, apparently, they are buying something else but coffee. "

Each of us makes purchases and they are not always rational, at least we do not always seem so at first glance. It is worth reflecting on what influences us when choosing one or another product.

Alessandro Perilli
Jan 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
A really good book if you are into cognitive psychology and are ready to see marketing in a completely different way. Not every part of the book is equally convincing. Especially towards the end, certain conclusions would require a lot more evidence to be believed. That said, the book remains a great starting point to explore neuromarketing.

Be sure to have read "Thinking, Fast and Slow" before starting Decoded.
Iurii Znak
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Quick-to-read book which shares a lot of insights on customers purchasing behaviors. A big number of examples and detailed explanations helps to understand this complex topic with ease. Will be very useful for people working in the marketing field, especially those, who work with B2C products/services.
Jan 29, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It`s ok for beginners in management field. I`ve already read the main ideas and thoughts of the author. That`s why I don`t enjoy this book. Oh, and russian edition has an awful typesetting. Maybe it`s a cause of my dislike too. ...more
Ekaterina Ilushina
The book is particularly good at explaining what failed and why. Filled up with interesting examples of how neuromarketing can be used to sell things. At the end of the book there is a very good reading list!
Tiago Soares
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good book on behavioural economics, human behaviour and marketing. Definitely a book to read for someone who works in marketing. I must say it has some advanced information, and even though it's easy to read, and maybe understand... it is not so easy to apply.
Chris Perry
Dec 28, 2019 rated it liked it
The book does a really good job at tying modern psychological concepts to branding and marketing. I unfortunately felt it fell short and only focused on consumer items in a grocery store.
Vinayak Malik
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
An interesting read. Let me sum it for you : Context is everything. For more details on exact terms Read on
Ipshita Biswas
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those "Must read" books.
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Perfect book for marketers, salesman, entrepreneurs, show how to dominate stadium out and sell more. I highly recommend
Vahagn Keshishyan
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very interesting book and everyone can understand it. Meanwhile it is a big treasure for marketers. Must read. Every page gave me a new idea for promotion products and how to sell them in a right way.
Athar Naser
Mar 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Great read that is very interesting to marketers and advertisers everywhere. The concepts are simplified and applied in a relevant context with real world examples. There is prospectively a lack of depth for those wishing to translate these learnings into the boardroom or the office, but by and large it gives a good overview of the key concepts that drive brand selection. If you have never broached the subject of cognitive psychology before then this book loses a little as it only touches on ...more
Michael Hirn
Feb 09, 2017 rated it liked it

"Decoded" is as mostly theoretical expository work and inquiries on the consumer decision-making process when purchasing goods.

The stated goal of the author was to provide marketers with a scientific framework to be more effective at their work. At this inquiry, the author succeeded partly. He succeeded in gathering relevant research from the new field of behavioral economics and provide an initial overview but failed in providing a sound and consistent framework that brings the cited
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful and interesting, eye opener, would like to purchase this book and keep as a reference.
Rara Rizal
Jan 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Reading the book was such an enjoyable experience. I shook my head and laughed countless times at how small changes in context or framing of an object could significantly change the way we look at it. I think on some level we all know that our decision-making process is not only driven by attitude and reason, but also by the way problems or objects are being presented. This is a great book for those interested in human processing behavior, especially for those who have previously read Daniel ...more
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: male-author
I'd have probably liked this book more if I wasn't already familiar with many of the studies Barden related to the readers. But I'm not in business/marketing/economics, and if I am familiar with most of the studies, then I suspect this could have been much, much better. It was ok. Readable and well-organized for the most part. Just not much new material to be found...
Jana Kovářová
Mar 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is honestly one of the best books on marketing and consumer behaviour I've ever read. It's interesting, packed with more tips on research papers and books to read, with great case studies and suggestions.
Brendan Brooks
Dec 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
Such an excellent book, not sure where to pin it's appeal. On the fact that it supports the theory behind my current invention, or that it is a substantial and deep update to the marketing I studied as part of my Masters a few years ago. Will revisit this a many times in the next year or so.
Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Amazing insight, a truly inspired combination of marketing and behavioural economics.
Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Found it comprehensive and informative but I found books like The Power of Habits more compelling.
Lloyd Jong
Jun 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Marketing classic book!
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“The autopilot needs about 10,000 hours’ experience of a specific topic before intuition develops fully.” 0 likes
“In making decisions, conscious or unconscious, big or small, about our lives and what we buy and do, the context, framework, decision interface, medium and pathways through which we reach decisions may have a greater influence on the decisions we take than the long-term consequences of the decision.” 0 likes
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