BRANDWASHED MARTIN LINDSTROM PDF

Lindstrom, who has spent much of his business life advising companies how to build stronger brands, is in a unique position to show readers how well the process can work. Lindstrom makes the case that branding begins in the womb — sounds and tastes the mother experiences are shared by the growing baby and can dramatically affect preferences and behavior after birth. He describes a candy company that distributed samples to pregnant women apparently with no nefarious plan for prenatal brandwashing and was surprised to find that the resulting children showed a strong preference for the flavor of that candy. The branding assault commences in full once infants start experiencing the world around them. It may not be a surprise by 36 months American kids can recognize a hundred brand logos. And, of course, any American parent can attest to the power brands like McDonalds wield over children.

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Lindstrom, who has spent much of his business life advising companies how to build stronger brands, is in a unique position to show readers how well the process can work. Lindstrom makes the case that branding begins in the womb — sounds and tastes the mother experiences are shared by the growing baby and can dramatically affect preferences and behavior after birth. He describes a candy company that distributed samples to pregnant women apparently with no nefarious plan for prenatal brandwashing and was surprised to find that the resulting children showed a strong preference for the flavor of that candy.

The branding assault commences in full once infants start experiencing the world around them. It may not be a surprise by 36 months American kids can recognize a hundred brand logos. And, of course, any American parent can attest to the power brands like McDonalds wield over children. Showing the potency of the biggest burger brand, kids even found carrots tastier when they were served with the McDonalds logo.

The Right Juice Brandwashed is at its best when Lindstrom uses his extensive client experience and list of contacts to provide a peek into corporate branding efforts. Focus groups of women were assembled, dabbed with the fragrance, and asked to close their eyes and tell a story. The fragrance was then further refined by taking female subjects into a dark maze of rooms where they could experience variations of the scent in complete isolation.

More focus group testing ensued, and Euphoria was launched with an ad campaign built around the same emotions observed in the testing process. The fragrance became a top seller. Games Stores Play While the Euphoria story is presented as a straightforward if very sophisticated and complex example of building a product around customer emotions, most of the book focuses on what Lindstrom sees as manipulation of consumer perceptions.

Lindstrom explains why you walk past masses of fresh flowers, a burbling water feature, and chalk-on-slate prices. All of these are freshness cues, designed to convince consumers that the store is filled with products rushed to the store from the farm. Whole Foods also presents displays like fresh fish, heads and all, resting on a bed of ice. In fact, the display was one piece, manufactured to look like individual boxes! Lindstrom thinks most elements of store design are intended to alter consumer behavior in some way.

The ever-present misters over produce? Both techniques are very similar to those of Whole Foods. Pssst… Want a Hit of Fat and Sugar? Lindstrom makes the point that many food-related companies deliberately appeal to our brains by offering foods containing substances known to be addictive: fat, sugar, caffeine, and even the flavor-enhancer MSG. Fast food chains earn the bulk of their revenue from these types of products, even though they may carry a few healthy offerings.

In fact, those salads actually sell more fries — see Dietary Decoys. Energy drinks offer mainly addictive ingredients: high concentrations of sugar and caffeine. But is it wrong for a burglar alarm company to picture a home break-in in their commercials, or for stores to stock up on emergency supplies and prominently display them in advance of a possible major storm? Readers may agree with Lindstrom on some points and disagree on others. Nevertheless, all of the examples are illustrative of fear-based marketing.

Are Companies Manipulating or Meeting Demand? If you have a negative opinion of corporations in general and advertising in particular, Brandwashed will definitely feed your paranoia. And, of course, some branding efforts and advertising may be unfairly manipulative. But, I think, sometimes products are simply created to meet consumer demand. You WANT to play games that are difficult to tear yourself away from, even after hours of play.

Think about the mobile app Foursquare, for example — people earn badges, become mayors of locations, and so on, all of which can lead to a near-addictive obsession with using the product. Still, I think many marketers and other business people will read this book and interpret some of the data points in a different way. Companies try to develop products that consumers want. Long before neuromarketing, they used product tests, focus groups, and many other conventional market research techniques to try to create products that consumers really liked, and would keep buying.

They developed ad campaigns, using the same kinds of tools, to craft messages that people would pay attention to. Is this manipulation, or giving consumers what they want? One thing I really like about the book is that for just about all of the points he makes, Lindstrom provides references to relevant research or additional reading. Readers who may question the conclusions he draws the data can always go back to the source and see if they agree.

Lindstrom is a smart guy, and I think in most cases people who dig deeper will find merit in his analysis. Brandwashed is a must read not just for marketers, but for all readers who want to understand how they can be manipulated by clever marketing. Marketing enthusiasts will find the book impossible to put down, and, whether the author intends it or not, will find new ways to improve the effectiveness of their efforts. Like the marketers he describes, Lindstrom has created a book that will grab your brain and keep you hooked until you finish it.

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But think about it. It let us co-own a sticky, lovey connection with our customers. Then, we invested in state-of-the-art tech systems designed to automate daily drudgery and intangible complexities. What we called efficiency.

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