This is one of the best books of 2008. You've probably noticed that my book reviews reflect good books, books that I highly recommend. This does not mean I have only read good books this year, or that I give a spectacular review to every book I read. It means - if you sent me a book and I did not write about it - I likely did not know what to write. (it could mean I have not had time to read it, however)
Martin Lindstrom is a celebrity in the world of marketing so I took his offer of a free book to review very seriously. Truth is - the title caught my attention and I wanted to learn more about the way we think, according to Martin. Well, learn I did.
Martin uncovers the reality behind neuromarketing. You know, subliminal suggestion and all that stuff. Here's what Martin says about neuromarketing, "NeuroMarketing is where science and marketing meet. Buyology bears witness to an historic meeting between neuroscientists and marketing experts, a union that sheds new light on how we make decisions about what we buy — everything from food, to cell phones, to cigarettes, to political candidates — and why."
From my perspective, the research cited in Buy-ology, revealed in great detail, supports what social media does...and why using social media is a win-win for marketers. In Chapter 2, Martin says, "...the results revealed that we have no memory of brands that don't play an integral part in the storyline of a program." Storyline. Storytelling. That's what it's about.
He goes on to say using "narrative" has a "double-barreled effect." It actually weakens our ability to remember other brands.
On page 86 he goes so far as to ascertain that the logo is "if not dead, then certainly on life support."
To be honest, my client and friend, Shel Holtz, was the first person I heard utter that statement... that the logo, and brands, were "dead"... at a conference several years ago. The reality, then and now, is that consumers buy for reasons we have, until Martin's research, never really understood. Throughout the book he treats the reader to an insider's look at brain chemistry and how each of us approaches a sale in subtle ways that are not being addressed by current marketing practices. My favorite parts of the book where the stories (but, of course!) about Crayola Crayons and Legos. Really. And those are just two of many, many stories.
In the end, you should read buy-ology to LEARN how to reach your customers, by understanding how they view you. Which, IMHO, is one of the BEST reason to get moving on using social media to marketing yourself. The ability of consumers to connect via social media and to comment on brands of any shape or size - both good and not so good comments - makes the consumer the only one in control of purchasing. (as I maintain she has always had - full control) Meet her on her terms, engage her in conversation, bring on the narrative - and you'll grab her attention. Which is the first step to making a sale. You don't have to believe me...believe Martin. He's the REAL expert.