April 22, 2011

Review - Consumerology (Philip Graves)

Don't be fooled by thinking that Philip Graves' Consumerology is basically about “shopping til' I'm dropping”, because it is not. This is a fascinating book on consumer psychology and marketing research, which allows you a whole new perspective on what exactly makes your “inner shopper” tick.
Let's put it this way – you may say you'll buy one thing, but in the end you'll buy something else entirely. Welcome to the unconscious which decides for us, whether we want it to, or not. From reading consumers to understanding the crowd, from the unconscious mind to consumer futurology, Graves is certainly debunking the market research industry. Introducing the reader not only to stories of how, quite often, extensive marketing research led to major flops when launching a new product (remember the “New Coke” fiasco?), he also shares how some predicted failures became a huge success. Last but not least, he also presents his unique AFECT approach, a set of five criteria to evaluate the reliability of any consumer insight.
Though the book is, in my opinion, more aimed at people who have a background in Marketing, it's an accessible and well written guide, with just the right dosage of ironic humor, thus definitely recommendable to everyone who's interested in the topic.
In short: A comprehensive and refreshing glimpse into the behavior of consumers and their usually not easily discernible buying decisions!

4/5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley.com book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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