book In this groundbreaking book Phil Barden reveals what decision science explains about people's purchase behaviour, and specifically demonstrates its value to marketing. He shares the latest research on the motivations behind consumers' choices and what happens in the human brain as buyers make their decisions. He deciphers the 'secret codes' of products, services and brands to explain why people buy them. And finally he shows how to apply this knowledge in day to day marketing to great effect by dramatically improving key factors such as relevance, differentiation and credibility.
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  • Shows how the latest insights from the fields of Behavioural Economics, psychology and neuro-economics explain why we buy what we buy
  • Offers a pragmatic framework and guidelines for day-to-day marketing practice on how to employ this knowledge for more effective brand management - from strategy to implementation and NPD.  
  • The first book to apply Daniel Kahneman’s Nobel Prize-winning work to marketing and advertising
  • Packed with case studies, this is a must-read for marketers, advertising professionals, web designers, R&D managers, industrial designers, graphic designers in fact anyone whose role or interest focuses on the ‘why’ behind consumer behaviour.
  • Foreword by Rory Sutherland, Vice-Chairman, Ogilvy Group UK
  • Full colour throughout


Chapter 1. Decision Science – understanding the why of consumer behaviour

In marketing our goal is to influence purchase decisions. But what drives these decisions? Decision sciences help to answer this crucial question by uncovering the underlying mechanisms, rules and principles of decision making. These fascinating and valuable insights from science have been expanding rapidly in the past few years. This chapter goes into some of the depths of the latest learnings from decision science, but don't worry; you don't need to be a scientist to swim here! We see what really drives purchasing behaviour, and how to apply these insights to maximise the benefit to marketing. Most importantly, we introduce a practical framework to harness the learnings in our everyday marketing roles.

Chapter 2. The moment of truth: decoding purchase decisions

We have seen in the previous chapter that there are two systems driving our decisions, the autopilot and the pilot. But when we are standing in front of a shelf in a supermarket or comparing alternative service providers, how do we arrive at our decision? What determines whether we buy one brand or another? How do we choose between all of the different options? In this chapter we deep dive into these crucial questions and unlock the underlying principles of purchase decisions.

Chapter 3. Decoding the interface - how the autopilot perceives touchpoints

Perception is the door through which our marketing activities enter the mind of the consumer. Whether it's a promotional offer, a product, pack, website or TV ad, perception of the signals that make up the interface between the brand and the consumer is the very first hurdle. This is why Kahneman integrates this key interface with the outside world into his decision-making framework. This chapter shows how perception works and how we can use the core insights to optimise our marketing activities.

Chapter 4. Optimising the path to purchase: the decision interface makes the difference.

The commonly held view in marketing is that, in order to change behaviour, it's first necessary to change attitudes. This chapter challenges that view and shows the profound influence that the 'decision interface' has on behaviour. We identify key implicit decision rules and discover how to employ them to best effect in marketing.

Chapter 5. Goals: The driving forces of purchase decisions

To fully understand purchase behaviour we need to understand what motivates people to buy products and brands in the first place. Why do we buy what we buy? To answer this question we introduce the concept of goals. Goals are a hot topic in psychology and neuroscience. Goal-based valuation is the most sophisticated level of value in the human brain, and it is a key concept in our journey to answer the question of why we buy what we buy. This chapter shows how powerful and valuable the concept of goals is for marketing.

Chapter 6. From Positioning to touchpoints: bringing value to life

So far we have seen many facets of the implicit level of marketing, ranging from perception to motivated behaviour. In this chapter we focus on how we can efficiently and effectively implement our goal based strategy to create product experiences and communication. We also explore how to judge whether an execution credibly fits this strategy.

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