Ya'll, I just finished Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy, and I must tell you, it was riveting. Riveting. I was, well, riveted. It's all about the new science of neuromarketing, which is basically doing brain scans on people while they look at pictures of products and logos and slogans to see what they really think about them. I know I have a tendency to lean towards marketing books, but this one was written with the lay-person in mind, and it's really really cool.
For instance, did you know that our brains have something called mirror neurons, which allow us to see ourselves as we see others? (That's why we flinch when we see someone else get hurt, or why our mouths water when we see someone else eating a steak...we instinctively imagine what it would be like to be that person). Marketers have figured this out though, and have actually put it to use without you even really being aware of it. For instance, in large urban stores, Abercrombie & Fitch hires young beautiful models to hang out in front of the store in groups, laughing and chatting and looking cool and popular and attired head to toe in (surprise, surprise) A&F clothing. And you don't even realize it, but your mirror neurons kick in and go, "Gee, wouldn't it be fun to be cool and popular and have fun like those people?" And even if you never consciously even thought about their clothes, you wander into the store because you want to be like those models. And when you actually buy the clothes? You get hit with a fabulous rush of dopamine, which makes you feel happy and socially connected. (Yes, there is such a thing as retail therapy, and you can thank your frontal cortex for it).
The whole book is full of things like that. It was written by Martin Lindstrom who, I don't have to tell you, is a FREAKING GENIUS! (Okay, maybe I do have to tell you. He's a total brand guru and was just named one of the world's 100 most influential people. FREAKING GENIUS!)
And maybe a teeny bit of hero worship going on there.
Anyway. Long story short, fabulous book. Highly recommended. You'll never look at branding the same way again.