Posted by: | 26th Jan, 2011

Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy

So yesterday I went to the bookstore to pick up the book “Buyology: Truths and Lies About Why We Buy” after Elaine (our Marketing prof) has recommended it to us.

The book attempts to answer questions such as How much do we know about why we buy? What truly influences our decisions in today’s message-cluttered world? An eye-grabbing advertisement, a catchy slogan, an infectious jingle? Or do our buying decisions take place below the surface, so deep within our subconscious minds, we’re barely aware of them?

By gauging neurotransmitters in the brain of more than 2000 volunteers from around the globe, scientists rated the effectiveness of certain types of sensory branding.  The volunteers were shown ads, logos, commercials, and products through the course of the study and the scientists measured their responses to them.

One finding in the book that shocked me the most was that health warnings on cigarette boxes seemed to have no effect on smokers – in fact, they have stimulated an area of the smokers’ brains that is known as “the craving spot.” In other words, cigarette warning labels not only failed to reduce the number of smokers, but it appeared they actually encouraged more smokers to smoke.

After reading this section of the book, I tried linking it to the concepts that we learned in class. We know that marketing mix, psychological factors, social factors, and situation factors are all affecting why consumers choose to buy something. Now, I also learn that biological factors affect consumer behaviour as well. The smallest and the most unrelated thing that you perceive could stimulate certain parts of your brain unconsciously, triggering a change in your purchasing pattern.

This book will really change the way I see things. I just can’t wait to finish it!

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