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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware - very useful.
An illuminating overview of one of the key relationships that defines our existence : that of price and cost. In this, Harden unveuils what many of us feel and unconsciously know anyway, the relationship between setting and serving - why would you pay £3 for a coffee in Starbucks when it costs about 17p to make? Here, it is clearly set in a context how human beings thing,...
Published on 6 April 2013 by Mr. M. A. Reed

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars unfulfilling for me
The book has a 6 chapter content:

- Decision Science: Understanding the Why of Consumer Behaviour
- The Moment of Truth: Decoding Purchase Decision
- Decoding the Interface: How the Autopilot Perceives Touchpoints
- Optimizing the Path to Purchase: The Decision Interface Makes the Difference
- Goals: The Driving Forces of Purchase...
Published 22 months ago by Su


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware - very useful., 6 April 2013
By 
Mr. M. A. Reed (Argleton, GB) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Decoded: The Science Behind Why We Buy (Hardcover)
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An illuminating overview of one of the key relationships that defines our existence : that of price and cost. In this, Harden unveuils what many of us feel and unconsciously know anyway, the relationship between setting and serving - why would you pay £3 for a coffee in Starbucks when it costs about 17p to make? Here, it is clearly set in a context how human beings thing, how we are, and how we are defined by the context of our surroundings and our world. Using clear practical examples, it shows how all of us are exploited into paying more than we should dependent upon conditioning, and also, how we, as both marketers and consumers, can avoid it. Very useful in helping you be aware of how you are often tricked into spending more than you should.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A business psychology book that treats psychology as a science, 11 Mar. 2014
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This is pretty much the only business marketing book I could find with a true grounding in psychology as a science. There are a few others that claim to be grounded in psychology, but they either don't really tell you anything practical, or don't actually base their claims on evidence. This book does both.

The basic theory is that people make purchase decisions based upon their active goals, and that business can be seen as tools to attain certain goals. I find this to be a much more practical way of implementing marketing than trying to elicit certain emotions, which doesn't really give you much of a framework to build on.

I would recommend this book to any business owner, marketeer or psychologist
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for all Marketeers, 1 July 2014
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This review is from: Decoded: The Science Behind Why We Buy (Hardcover)
Not just for retail marketeers, Decoded is essential reading for all marketeers.

With so many choices available for customers these days is it critical, now more than ever, to understand your customers; why they make the decisions they do; and how to influence them to choose your product over a competitors.

Decoded: The Science Behind Why We Buy looks at previous research into consumer decision making and neuro-marketing which debunking certain myths and offering alternate theory's based on direct experience and latest thinking.

Written in a style that is approachable and effective, its something I keep on my desk (along with The E-Myth Revisited) to refer back to.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for Entrepreneurs and retailers, 28 Aug. 2013
By 
B. Towns (Southampton, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Decoded: The Science Behind Why We Buy (Hardcover)
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This is a VERY interesting read.

Having read dozens of books on persuading people to buy 'stuff', effective website conversion and hypnotic marketing, this book adds a solid scientific, evidence-based dimension to consumer behaviour, decision making (in the retail environment), subliminal influences and the driving forces behind purchasing decisions.

Printed on beautiful paper in full colour, not only is this a delight to read but also to own (hardback copy).

If you sell 'stuff', this will be a very interesting and useful book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Marketing works - what will you do for your shoppers?, 16 May 2013
This review is from: Decoded: The Science Behind Why We Buy (Hardcover)
There is an amazing fact near the start of Decoded, a new book from marketer Phil Barden. The average person takes 1.7 seconds to process the information in an advertisement in a magazine.

But this does not really matter because all good marketing needs is this 1.7 seconds. People are programmed to respond quickly to the hundreds of thousands of things they "see" every day.

If the marketing is right for what we are looking for, we will find the products we need. Even if we make mistakes, as we all do, all the time. But if we "were to reflectively think about every purchase decision in the supermarket, it would take so long to do our shopping that we would starve to death."

Barden's work builds on the field of behavioural economics pioneered by Nobel prize winner Daniel Kahneman, whose brilliant book Thinking Fast and Slow demonstrates that the way people behave is not as economists would like to think.

In a chapter on optimising the path to purchase, Barden shows how good marketing can change behaviour without changing minds. This is a must read chapter for retailers interested in laying out their shops to maximise sales.

In a 2006 paper two American academics showed how they could change what people ate by changing the order that food was presented in a canteen. For example:

· Broccoli was placed at the front and consumption rose by 10 per cent.

· Apples and oranges were put in a nice bowl and sales doubled.

· The ice cream freezer lid was changed to opaque and the number of students buying ice cream dropped from 30 per cent to 14 per cent.

· Including fruit in a fixed price lunch deal led to a 71 per cent increase in consumption. Making people pay more for cookies resulted in a 55 per cent fall in consumption.

· Putting the salad bar in front of the checkout tripled sales.

· Putting the chocolate milk behind the plain milk, making it difficult to reach, led to more students choosing plain milk.

"What these examples show is not exclusive to food consumption. They illustrate a general, fundamental result of decision science: that decisions are strongly influenced not only by what is presented but to a high degree by how it is presented," writes Barden.

"Classical economic theory is unable to explain these effects because the objective value and the objective costs of the lunch item have not changed. Broccoli is broccoli, whether it is placed at the beginning or in the middle of the lunch line."

As you read, ideas will spring forth for your shop. Consider a Snickers promotion, Barden cites. A sign "buy some for your freezer" resulted in average sales of 1.4 Snickers bars. A sign "buy 18 for your freezer" increased the average sale to 2.6. Think about it!

While at times this book is heavy on the science, it is a very rewarding read. A lot of the findings are common sense. But often we fail to apply common sense when we put our own objectives ahead of our customers' objectives. Reading Decoded will help you make money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How Marketers Market, 11 Aug. 2013
By 
Paul Robinson (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Decoded: The Science Behind Why We Buy (Hardcover)
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A well-written guide to a complex topic: why do people pay more than they know something is really worth? "Decision-science", that branch of psychology that has to take into account many factors is currently at a stage where we are starting to really understand how the brain - evolved for a World very different to our own - reacts to the World we have fashioned for ourselves. It's a fascinating introduction to a fascinating topic.

Some might feel the content is a little light and lacking on science in some areas, but it's not a peer-reviewed journal paper, but rather something much more approachable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cognitive reasoning on why we buy, or not buy, 5 July 2013
By 
Susman "Sussman" (London Mills IL) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Decoded: The Science Behind Why We Buy (Hardcover)
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What interested me in this title was what really drives us to make certain purchase. What I found was a very interesting set of theories on our mental reasoning, the text of the book shows how our cognitive pathways lead us to pick out and choose between items. The research shows that environment and behavioural science is used to help uncover why we do what we do as consumers. The results that are brought to fore, are both interesting and to be frank not was expected.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Some good content choices but not a perfect book, 11 Jun. 2013
By 
Matthew Leitch (Epsom, Surrey, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Decoded: The Science Behind Why We Buy (Hardcover)
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This book includes some important ideas from research on marketing that I found useful eye openers. These aren't original to the author, but it's a good set of choices about the big ideas to include. The book is also readable and covers a lot of research studies. It has many colourful pictures.

On the other hand, the psychology is used uncritically, the studies are not systematically referenced (often it is impossible to work out who did the study), and the captions for the pictures are uninformative and disappointing. At times it feels like the obvious is being stated using jargon and I was particularly suspicious that 'neuro' jargon was being used to give the reasoning a gloss of scientific impressiveness.

Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping is a much better book overall, and more scientific. To some extent my hopes for 'Decoded' were influenced by it having a similar title to "The science of shopping" so perhaps my disappointment was increased by this.

Overall, good content choices but unnecessarily unscientific presentation of the science.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why We Buy., 15 Aug. 2013
By 
Flickering Ember "I need a break and I wanna ... (Once Upon A Long Ago.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Decoded: The Science Behind Why We Buy (Hardcover)
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I had expected this book to be heavy-going and academic, but whilst there is definite worth in the contents in terms of their suitability to be quoted and referred to in relevant academic work, it's accessible and easy to read.

I'd recommend this book especially to those with an interest in marketing/PR and retail, although it would also be relevant to psychologists.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly enjoyable and informative read, 15 July 2013
By 
TheShopaholic (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Decoded: The Science Behind Why We Buy (Hardcover)
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I have been in business and marketing for nearly 20 years but this book was an eye opener for me. I have studied pricing and what works but not really why. I have studied product presentation, be on a website or in store but not so thoroughly as to understand 'why' certain approaches work better than others, at least not in any great detail. This book was extremely readable. It made what could be a very heavy subject (particularly when using so much research data as examples), light and refreshing. The author begins by explaining a little about our sub-conscious reasoning or how we function on 'auto pilot' and how this works in marketing and retail. This is then applied to an additional approach of 'peripheral vision' and how both of these work together with brand recognition among other things; how certain brands stimulate certain emotive responses which affect our reasoning and therefore our choices. How quite often we make literally 'split second' decisions without consciously being aware of why.

This book made me see marketing and attracting the consumer in a totally different light. It has made me analyse TV ads, shopfloor layouts etc whereas before I was just one of those many minions that acted in the way the book described. I am sure we all aware of some of the subtleties that supermarkets and stores use to make us spend a little more, loss leaders, bulk option bargains that cost us more than we actually save etc but there is an even deeper more subtle coercion at play.

I feel like a much wiser more aware potential customer that I was before, and I will find much of this psychology of the consumer very useful in my work.
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Decoded: The Science Behind Why We Buy
Decoded: The Science Behind Why We Buy by Phil Barden (Hardcover - 1 Feb. 2013)
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