brandwashed by m lindstrom

 I eagerly picked up Martin Lindstrom’s new book Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy after enjoying his previous book.  But it was quite a disappointment… to the point where I’m thinking of putting his name on my black list next to Gladwell’s.  (Ugh, Blink is another story.)

But it’s not a surprise – just as the title suggests – the book is literally a compilation of “tricks companies use to manipulate our minds and persuade us to buy”.  I figure somebody has to bring the beliefs and facts together but coming from somebody who earns millions by consulting to various Fortune 500 brands, I didn’t learn anything new.  These are facts that we know already: that companies leverage the psychological attachments people have to lure us into buying their products.  Brandwashed is worth reading though because all of Lindstrom’s claims are scientifically proven – if you’re into that stuff.

One chapter in particular focuses on the addictive nature of human psychology.  It goes on to say how companies should effectively incorporate this to create ie. brand-related games.  I am working on a 2012 trend forecast report right now, and in alignment to what Lindstrom suggests, I think there will be a discernible increase in brands diversifying into digital entertainment platforms (apps, games, etc.) to increase their competitive advantage.

Other influential factors to our purchasing behavior includes nostalgia, celebrity endorsements, peer pressure, etc.  The “highlight” of the book when it was advertised was how Lindstrom with the collaboration of various actors and Hollywood producers, set up a hidden reality life to observe exactly how word-of-mouth works, and how easily we are influenced by our friends, family, and neighbors.  The “study” in my opinion didn’t yield anything new – but it is a good summary of all the theories and concepts.  It’s a good book if you’re completely new to advertising & marketing.  Otherwise, I don’t recommend it much.

dee’s recommendation: 2/5