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Why People Buy

Unthinking by Harry Beckwith

The full title of this book by Harry Beckwith is

Unthinking: The Surprising Forces Behind What We Buy

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book Two Stars.

Long-winded and very American

Harry Beckwith made his name with the book “Selling The Invisible” which is generally recognised as a classic.

I’m fascinated by the ideas behind why we buy what we buy and academic subjects like behavioural economics and neuromarketing have given us considerable insight into how the mind works and how it can be guided or misguided.

I had high hopes of this book but I found it long-winded. The author makes some good points but the contents feels very padded and it’s hard to pick out the nuggets from the stories. It would have helped to have separated theories and concepts from the examples.

The book is also very American based and therefore, for British readers, much of the power of the many examples is lost because we can’t recognise the cultural references and marketing campaigns. At least I can’t and that’s why I asked for a refund.

This is an important subject but I think there are better books out there.


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Decoded by Phil Barden

The full title of this book by Phil Barden is

Decoded: The Science Behind Why We Buy

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book Three Stars. This means Worthwhile.

Here is my review.

I hoped that I’d get more from it

The book starts with the thinking fast and slow ideas of unconscious and conscious deliberation and then links these concepts into marketing.

It’s mainly written for marketing executives within large fmcg companies and while I found some of it interesting, I’ve come across much of the content in other neuromarketing type books. You might have the same problem. [continue reading…]

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