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Book Summary: Buy-ology – Martin Lindstrom

Truth and Lies about why we buybuyology

 “In fact, visit this site scientists have found and area in the frontal cortex of the brain called Brodmann area 10, medical which is activated when we see products we think are “cool”

 Neuro-Marketing: interesting, enlightening, taboo, and perhaps one of the best ways to gain insight as to why people make the purchase decisions they do.

The age old question: “Why do we buy what we buy?” has new light shed on the answer with this look at neuro-marketing, which at this stage is using fMRI and other brain imaging equipment to see how our brains really react to ads, shows, products, or ideas.  The results are insightful, and help to get around the fact that what people say they think or will do is not always really what they think or will do.  Neuro-marketing studies get beyond the difference between what we think and what we do.

For the most part, the methodology is good, however sometimes large generalizations are drawn from small sample sizes, and of course, what is probably more interesting a lot of the time it the small group of people who think differently.

Insights and Interesting Thoughts: 

  • Those cigarette ads and dire warnings do not work, and in fact stimulate the smokers “craving spots”.
  • Banned from traditional advertising, the tobacco companies have leapt ahead in the marketing field, creating ways of subtly suggesting their products to the subconscious.
  • Product Placement only works when the product is integrated into the show or movie, and if the product works with the story line.  Product placements can be a lot more effective than standard commercials that get blocked our as “white noise”.
  • Mirror Neurons, which make our brains ‘mimic’ actions we see, are a powerful marketing trigger.  They are responsible for human empathy and work in tandem with dopamine.
  • Done right, subliminal advertising can be very effective as it penetrates the consumers consciousness when they do not have their guard up.  Colour schemes, and smells are two ways of doing this if you have a strong brand.  Lindstrom also argues that if not dead, the logo is on life support.
  • Rituals like the Corona lime help people create a stronger, more memorable bond with their product.  Attachments to products can stimulate the same brain centres as religious ritual.   They speak to our need for a sense of control in an increasingly complex world.
  •  There are a lot of similarities between religions and strong brands: a clear vision, a sense of belonging, giving a sense of control, making member s feel ‘honored’, and storytelling.
  •  Somatic Markets are very important – they are the shortcuts in our brains that connect an experience or emotion with a specific action.  They are shortcuts to buying decisions.
  •  Sex does not sell, at least not directly.
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