Do you buy what you need? Or mostly what you want?
For most of us, the basics are addressed and, most of the time, we are in the "what we want" category.
What Rob Walker does in Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are is to try unlock the "Desire Code."
Kind of like the "DaVinci Code," I suppose for what makes us tick and why we buy what we buy...when we buy it.
At times, I felt the book was a bit thick (as in slightly difficult to follow), but overall, I enjoyed the stories and the main point, which is:
- We're not post-marketing, but we are post 'brand management' (more on this later)
- Stories matter. Stories matter. And did I mention it? Stories matter.
- Salience (the fact of knowing about something) and relevance are key, though "relevance ban also be, for lack of a better word, invented" as he points out when Listerine introduced the concept of "Halitosis."
Walker takes this and expands on it.
Brand isn't want a company tells us it means, it is what we tell ourselves it means...and hence we have a "long tail of branding."
As he sums up in the end of the book "You are only what you surround yourself with? No. You surround yourself only with who you are."
And it is the stories that the brands offer up (and they may be varied) which we then tell ourselves that lies as the core of "brand management," for lack of a better term.
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