Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy

Brandwashed: How Marketers and Advertisers Obscure the Truth, Manipulate Our Minds, and Persuade Us to Buy - Martin Lindstrom "Branding" has become something of a catchphrase in today's society, where just about everything, and everyone, can market themselves as a brand. It's an interesting exercise to sit down and examine where your brand loyalties lie. I couldn't care less for clothing-related brands, but I'm a bit of a book snob and will quite definitely judge a book by its publisher. The brand loyalty that would be seen most obviously by my friends, however, would be my devotion to Apple. My loyalty can be traced to many of the methods outlined in ths book; such as the enourmously effective "I'm a Mac" TV commercials that assure Mac users that they are part of an inner circle that's more hip, more laid back, than anyone who uses a PC; through the recommendations of friends; and through the fact that I got to try a MacBook for free via a work-at-home job that provided one. I'm also tied into Apple through other brands. Two programs I can't live without are Apple-loyal themselves. Until recently using Scrivener was only possible on a Mac and the Omni Group (creators of OmniFocus) still does not offer any other platforms. There are certainly equivalent programs for Windows, but my collective brand-loyalty is such that I've never performed even a perfunctory search for them. Lindstrom takes a long sidebar in the book to talk about the relatively new process of data collection. It's the real reason behind all those loyalty programs, a way to tailor sales and coupons and other personalizations to glean more information about you and tempt you to spend even more money. Apple is, by his description, one of the more frighteningly invasive collectors. They may have the information, but in my experience, Apple is either much less effective in using it for marketing, or they really think someone of my household status and income needs to buy a second iPad only weeks after buying my first. Lindstrom does not talk much about what might break loyalty to a brand, which is something that for a while I considered with the release of iCloud and iOS 5 and the cessation of their MobileMe service, which I used to keep all my Mac products in sync. In the end, it was a partial break, as I've cobbled together syncing for my calendars via Google, for Omnifocus via their own service, my Scrivener files via Dropbox and my various email accounts (with one annoying exception) via each company's servers. All this to avoid the $60 it would cost to upgrade both my Macs to Lion. On the other hand, this week I did upgrade my old 2nd Gen iPod Touch with my very first iPhone. Being cheap, I bought a 3GS and plan to run it without cellular data 90% of the time. My friends, especially those with iPhones, tell me that won't last. We'll see. For now, I'm just happy that my apps are running faster and that I don't have to carry a separate cell phone to text my friends. So, I am "brandwashed"? Perhaps. But at this point, it's less from a blindness to my favourite brands faults and more from a knowledge of just how much I would need to rearrange my life to change brands more than I have. Which I suppose is Apple's goal, and just what Lindstrom is warning against.