When best-selling author Martin Lindstrom first contacted me and asked me if I was interested in reviewing his book, Brandwashed, I hesitated for a bit and and decided I would look into it a little more before I gave him an answer. I usually review fiction books and I wasn’t sure I wanted to veer from that path. As a blogger I find that when I have some free time to read for pleasure, I want to lose myself in a good fiction story… or I want to sit and read my favorite blogs.
So I looked up Brandwashed to see if it was worthy of my time.
The tag line for the book says it all. Brandwashed – Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy. Did I want to read it? Absolutely.
I always knew that there was a lot of manipulation going on in the underbelly of the advertising world. The very idea of “advertising” screams “manipulation” to me. Lindstrom, a global marketing expert, gets it completely and his book gives lots of details on just how this is going on right under our noses.
If you have ever wondered why people gravitate towards one brand over another, this is a book you will find fascinating. Lindstrom takes us step by step into the world of branding and the theories behind it all. Ever wonder how babies somehow just like certain foods over others? Or will calm down if they listen to certain types of music? It’s all about branding from birth (or before birth if you can imagine).
Lindstrom even went so far as to try living without any brands for a year. He didn’t make it. Can you imagine living day to day without purchasing or using ANY brands whatsoever? That means no fast food, no sodas, no Starbucks, no Gap. Of course we couldn’t live like that, unless maybe you were Amish. Our entire lives are branded and not only do WE buy into it, we are part of the problem. We tell our friends about the products we like and don’t like. We recommend clothes and food and cars. We all have been “brandwashed” to believe that this brand is better than that brand. What if you walked into a grocery store and had never heard of any of the products before? Which ones would you buy? It would be overwhelming wouldn’t it? How could you possibly choose between 40 different types of cereal you had never heard of? Well, that’s why celebrities are out there doing commercials… so they can TELL you which products you should be purchasing. Wow!
Have you heard about the Morgansons? They are a family that Lindstrom worked with on an experiment to see if they could “manipulate” their friends into using certain brands. We all do it. We just don’t know we are doing it. Just the fact that I’m telling you all to go read this book means I’m convincing you a product is worth your time and money.
This is the kind of book you read and nod to yourself silently in agreement. When you read about soda manufacturers counting the bubbles in their sodas… or fruit growers monitoring the color of the apples and bananas they sell you… you’ll slap yourself on the head and wonder why you haven’t figured this all out before. It’s like we are living in a giant bubble while we are being controlled by the advertisers and marketers.
If you have ever wondered WHY you gravitate towards one thing over another… get yourself a copy of Brandwashed and find out.
Check out Martin Lindstrom and the Morgansons on The Today Show tomorrow…
Friday, September 30, 2011.
I received a complimentary copy of Brandwashed by Martin Lindstrom for my review. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions of the book are my own.