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5.0 out of 5 stars Brandwashed, 5 Feb 2012
This review is from: Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy (Paperback)
We can buy anything we want. The choices presented to us would, in a rational world take more than a lifetime to decode. And the product range we select from is being added to on a daily basis. The internet has made our lifestyle choices and needs both enviable and un-enviable at the same time. So, how do we choose? And how much of our eventual choice is controlled by the power exerted by major product brands.

In "Brandwashed" by Martin Lindstrom, this power is put under the microscope. From the cradle to the grave, brands have but one objective, to get you to buy as much of their products as possible. And they use a wide variety of tools to engage, assess and market their products to you. The data that shops collect from you via your loyalty card, to demographic analysis of towns and cities allow companies to target their advertising to maximum effect.

In the book, celebrity culture is dissected with their ability to ignite passions and influence purchases - Justin Bieber and Paris Hilton anyone? There are also sections on the use of fear and guilt to subvert normal anxieties and get a sale, such as in the cosmetic, medical and insurance industries. There is nothing that companies will not try to persuade you to part with your hard earned cash.

As the connectivity of the industrialised world gets deeper, there is more information available to analyse - from determining which computer you used to print out that 30% OFF coupon, to the Facebook profiles of anyone that used that machine. Maybe there's an opportunity to develop a data-crunching machine that can profile and analyse all of this information.

Martin Lindstrom has written a very important book, that is a natural follow-on to books such as No Logo by Naomi Klein. Ignore it at your peril, or you may continue to make purchases that make no sense, but fit into what the internet thinks is your lifestyle.
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