Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy by Martin Lindstrom is a fun, eye-opening book. It explores the field of neural marketing, which is a mix of marketing, behavioral economics, and cognitive science (think commercials + FMRI’s).
It uses an adventure-like narrative to describe some of the procedures and has some fun little tidbits in it, like how car commercials were virtual clones (you could swap one for another without brand/product recognition), yet the mini-cooper stood out because it activated the cute facial recognition part of our brains. Maybe I’m not the only one who sees headlights as eyes and grills as mouths.
The key points for me were:
– If one brand’s presence dominates a show, side advertisers may be wasting their money
– Rituals can make a product stick
– Little details, like headquarters listed make huge differences
– Non-important or non-existent magic mystery elements sell!
– Breakable brands are more likely to succeed
– Sex and religion in advertising aren’t always the best policy
– Associated messages (truly subliminal ones) are extremely powerful
The biggest question I had with it was if there was research done on how the warning labels and anti-smoking commercials impact non-smokers. While the book shows the counterproductive impact on those who are addicted, I wonder how they impact potential consumers who are not addicted.
The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb is one of those books that can completely change the way you see the world. It talks about the unknown unknown, the black swan, the highly improbable unpredictable event that changes the world and which we will we later try to explain away.
You believe all swans are white. Each time you see a white swan, it’s just confirmation of your belief. People can see millions of white swans, but it only takes one black swan to prove everything wrong.
I first heard of this book on Talk of the Nation’s Interview with Taleb, it stayed in my mind throughout my adventures in Thailand, and upon my return I finally got my hands on a copy and fell in love with it.
Continue reading The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
I found out about The 4-Hour Workweek while reading a random Men’s Journal article. So far it has been fantastic. It has Q&A (Questions and Actions and expands on many concepts from Rich Dad, Poor Dad.
I especially appreciate the sheets you can download from his website (fourhourworkweek.com) and high speed push toward efficiency and figuring out what you really want… ie. not a sum of money… but what you’d actually do with it. It was really surprising when I asked quite a few people what they would do if they had all the money and time they wanted that they really had no clue. They never thought beyond the money/time part. What Timothy Ferriss does is make you ask the right questions and take the necessary steps before it’s too late. Lifestyle design should be a required subject.