Martin Lindstrom and the secrets of ‘Buy-ology’

With a bestselling book on the market that cost him US$7 million to produce, Martin Lindstrom was met by relatively few at Diwan yesterday. Those who came however were very enthusiastic to meet him. Although Lindstrom talked little about his book, ‘Buy-ology,’ it is the reason everyone is talking about him. With his controversial use of fMRI machines to better understand consumer behavior, Lindstrom has come to incredible conclusions that some believe will be used to further dupe consumers into buying more. But in actuality, Lindstrom seems to do just the opposite. At the book signing he gave out tips about spending less (see below) and explained to his audience how marketers were using everything from smells and sounds to subliminal messages to try to get them to purchase products and become emotionally attached to brands. Needless to say, Lindstrom has reached his level of fame by working on the ‘other side’ and can claim credit for marketing rituals we may not even be aware of – from the two hands holding the red Nescafe cup for Nescafe (a ritual and a visual trigger) to the three-time dip of a Lipton tea bag. "The Coca Cola bottle produced in the early 1900’s was made in such a way that if it shattered into a hundred pieces, you could still tell from the glass shards that it was a Coca Cola bottle," Lindstrom explains, accounting for the ‘smashable’ marketing theory that would lead Apple to put their logo on the back of the Iphone. Even if the phone screen smashes or the software crashes, the logo remains… Lindstrom’s words on the recession? For those who want to sell, he recommends increasing the practicality of products to add value and encourage more conservative consumers to purchase, rather than employing discounts. "It takes seven years to recover your price after a discount," Lindstrom points out, explaining that psychologically, the drop in price is a drop in value of the product for a consumer. Other tips for businesses hurt by the economy include creating alternative products like Apple’s Mini Shuffle Ipod – "Consumer’s get the ‘Apple smell’ and a little morsel of the Apple brand while only dishing out $80." Lastly, Lindstrom recommends companies to "bundle up on marketing" – using resources like neighboring stores with related products to make package deals. For those with an interest in marketing and the study of trends and social phenomenon, ‘Buy-ology’ is an excellent, fast paced, entertaining read. Comparable to Gladwell’s ‘The Tipping Point’ (one of Lindstrom’s favorite books), ‘Buy-ology’ takes the reader on a humorous and conscious journey through their own minds as well as the minds of marketers world-wide. Pick up ‘Buy-ology’ by Martin Lindstrom from any of the 11 Diwan branches for light travel reading this Eid! Lindstrom’s Five Tips for Spending Less 1. Never shop hungry (even for non-food related items) 2. Never shop with kids (you’ll spend, on average, 32 percent more) 3. Use a shopping list to lessen impulse purchases 4. Be aware of word games in special offers (two for the price of one may not mean more) 5. Use cash (not credit cards) and preferably large bills because they take more psychological effort to break (you won’t break an LE200 bill on a chocolate bar)

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