Book Review: “Unconscious Branding”

An ad agency exec has written a book sharing his interesting take on marketing. Douglas Van Praet claims we, as consumers, unknowingly let science help decide some of our product choices. He offers strong support for this claim and those trying to attract and/or maintain an audience should check this out. unconscious-branding

Van Praet claims many product decisions are not made by conscious awareness. In his world, products and marketing campaigns that touch upon familiar, comfortable themes are ultimately most successful. This book offers many interesting theories about why we make decisions with the main point that we don’t knowingly make some of these choices. The author makes his case for ‘unconscious branding’ in two parts. First, he first explains the science of our actions. Then, he breaks down the 7 steps necessary for behavior change.

I admit I was never good, or overly interested, in science. So, the first portion of the book lost me a little bit. Long story short, he says we should learn from science. Van Praet states decisions aren’t based solely on emotions or facts and that marketing campaigns often fail due to overlooking this fact. And, Van Praet should know as he’s been behind some great campaigns over the last couple decades at various high-profile ad agencies.

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The 7 steps essential for behavior change are clearly stated and supported. I really found this part of the book intriguing. If you are trying to sway the behaviors of others, in the form of either establishing brand identity or generating a direct purchase, this book should be added to your collection. The unconventional approach may not be supported by everyone, but Van Praet does a great job of pitching his view. I would definitely recommend this book to my friends in broadcasting, PR, and marketing.

This book isn’t meant to replace market research, but certainly can provide some solid background to understanding human behavior. If nothing else, it will make you think. Hopefully, it will provide some actionable ideas as well. I’ve believed in some of these concepts for quite some time, while the book introduced many new points to ponder. Some say marketing isn’t a science, but it turns out there is a science to successful marketing.

Official Book Site:

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