Scribble Orca's Reviews > Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy and the New Science of Desire

Buyology by Martin Lindstrom
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Dec 17, 2010

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bookshelves: non-fiction, psychology
Recommended for: Savvy consumers
Read in January, 2009 — I own a copy


What did I think (that teasing little prompt to write a review)? Lindstrom's book reads more like a piece of fiction!

If you can wade through the overblown prose (read author's sense of self-importance, borrowed deux ex machina and cliff-hanger endings to various chapters, all of which fizzle out along the way), Lindstrom actually has some sound advice for consumers!

If you value your purchasing sovereignty, read this book (and borrow it from the library, so as to avoid 'buying' into Lindstrom's hype). Marketeers are already implementing some of the ideas in this book, rightly or wrongly (and not considering the ethics and the funding of the research Lindstrom undertook).

How does a brand smell? Taste? Feel? Look like? Sound? And specifically, given the demographic in which you, as the customer, most likely fit, which representation of these characterisics should a brand/product have in order to engage your 'impulse buy' mechanism?

Ultimately, if you can determine what it is that drives you to purchase something, you're better protected against mindless consumerism. It might have not been the point Lindstrom wanted to make, but that's certainly the message I took from the book. Buyer beware.
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06/17/2017 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 1: by Joyzi (new)

Joyzi It's like Biology (the sound I mean)


message 2: by ·Karen· (new)

·Karen· Hah! I like your admonition not to BUY this! But I see you're not encouraging shoplifting either.


message 3: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala Ultimately, if you can determine what it is that drives you to purchase something, you're better protected against mindless consumerism.

Spot on!


message 4: by Kalliope (new)

Kalliope Peculiar title, The Science of Desire...!


message 5: by Steve (new)

Steve As caveats go, that's a very useful one. On a very loosely related note, I wonder if that volume from a few years ago, Steal This Book, really was shoplifted more than most. My guess is yes.


Scribble Orca Thanks, everyone! Not encouraging this one to be light-fngered, Karen, no, but I bet you have the right of it, Steve, wrt the book you mention.

Buyology is about how marketing is increasing sensual, Kall!


message 7: by Mosca (last edited Mar 25, 2013 06:53AM) (new)

Mosca Good morning, Ms. Orca.

Struggling through my morning mind fog and coffee, I keep thinking of The Hidden Persuaders in relation to this book.

I was forced by the Jesuits to read that in my adolescence. And to my best memory, this seems to be a similar book. The Hidden Persuaders was written in the mid 1950s.

The common message is "They are lying to you."

Still seems to be wise advice.


Scribble Orca Mosca wrote: "Good morning, Ms. Orca.

The common message is "They are lying to you."


Good morning (actually it's evening here and I'm about to call it a day) Sir Moscafemera!

That may be the common message, but I'm not sure Lindstrom particularly wanted to put it across quite as well it bounced onto this reader :). In any case, wise advice, and there is no substitute for checking advertising claims - except there will always be an opportunity cost that sets the limit as to how far consumers will go to verify if what they are buying is really matching (what they think are their) needs.


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