Brandwashed by Martin Lindstrom
Release date: 2011 / 304 pages
Synopsis (from Amazon.com): Marketing visionary Martin Lindstrom has been on the front lines of the branding wars for over twenty years. Here, he turns the spotlight on his own industry, drawing on all he has witnessed behind closed doors, exposing for the first time the full extent of the psychological tricks and traps that companies devise to win our hard-earned dollars.
Review: Need a reason to read Brandwashed? Near the end of this marketing expose, Lindstrom writes “…we all know that every time we tweet our whereabouts on Twitter, update our Facebook profiles, buy something online with our credit card, or swipe our reward card at a drugstore… we’re essentially giving companies and marketers permission to record, store, compile, and analyze every last bit of information we choose to share – and many pieces of information we don’t – and then turn around and use it to trick, manipulate, and seduce us into buying more stuff…”
Martin Lindstrom, author of best-selling Buyology and uber-marketer to companies like McDonald’s, Microsoft, and Proctor and Gamble (as well as at least one royal family) exposes the many nefarious ways companies influence our consumerism and manipulate our values and even our identities through clever and increasingly effective brand marketing. Lindstrom reveals “…the subtle yet powerful ways companies use peer pressure to persuade us… how they play on our fear, guilt, nostalgia, and celebrity worship, often in ways that hit us beneath our conscious awareness” (7). Readers may not be surprised by these time-tested marketing tactics, but will be interested in learning why “…the strongest brands on earth – from Apple to Harley-Davidson – to be intriguingly akin to the world’s religions, in that they tend to inspire in us a strong, ritualistic, almost evangelistic faith.” (186)
Once Lindstrom unveils the omnipotence of data mining, every reader will take notice. Since he predicts we will not be willing to give up our online presence, becoming savvy to how corporations use our personal information is imperative — not only economically, but to ensure our personal identity is not merely a construct of what companies want it to be. Thank you to Shelf Awareness for asking me to read and review this!
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