Saturday, October 1, 2011

Yikes! I've Been Brandwashed!

Yes. I said brandwashed. According to author Martin Lindstrom, we are brandwashed starting ... get this ... while we are still in the womb! Reading this review on Neuromarketing got me to thinking of how this relates to book buying. Of course, I'd think of that. It's where my mind is most of the time, anyway! So, one of his points about how smells, sights, sounds, all of those sensory bites tend to influence buying habits made sense to me. It reminded me of one of my favorite readings from French Lit ... Proust's Remembrance of Things Past and how your senses trigger memories. It's always worked that way for me. Then, why not influence my buying habits? It could happen. And probably does without me being one tiny bit aware of it. Think about it. "Don't judge a book by its cover." But we do. We look at the prettiest, most awesome cover and think, "Maybe I'll buy this one." Or at least we may pick it up, out of all the hundreds and thousands of other books, to read the blurb on the back, and that's one step closer to purchasing it. Right? Okay ... maybe not for all of you. But what about the brandwashing done with names? Author names that advertise the next bestseller ... Buy that one, the one from the guy who has sold millions of copies of all his other books. What about them? Come on! You have to admit, it's a publisher's wet dream to have that guy or gal in its stable. Don't need much of a publishing campaign to get that ball ... or book rolling!

Lindstrom does take us down the path to where brandwashing is a misleading, smoke-and-mirrors sort of tactic. Like the display props in the store looking like one thing, but really they are something else. Or the idea that spraying the produce is supposed to keep items fresh, yet really does nothing more than keep them wet! But it is advertising, after all. Wise shoppers know what to believe ... right?

So, tell me ... what do you think? What helps you to decide which books to buy? And be honest! Are you brandwashed? Weigh in ...

Whips, Cuffs, and Little Brown Boxes
Kathryn Long's Booknook

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