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Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy | [Martin Lindstrom]

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

From the bestselling author of Buyology comes a shocking insider’s look at how today’s global giants conspire to obscure the truth and manipulate our minds, all in service of persuading us to buy. Marketing visionary Martin Lindstrom has been on the front lines of the branding wars for over twenty years. Here, he turns the spotlight on his own industry, drawing on all he has witnessed behind closed doors, exposing for the first time the full extent of the psychological tricks and traps that companies devise to win our hard-earned dollars.
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Publisher's Summary

Foreword by Morgan SpurlockFrom the best-selling author of Buyology comes a shocking insider’s look at how today’s global giants conspire to obscure the truth and manipulate our minds, all in service of persuading us to buy.

Marketing visionary Martin Lindstrom has been on the front lines of the branding wars for over twenty years. Here, he turns the spotlight on his own industry, drawing on all he has witnessed behind closed doors, exposing for the first time the full extent of the psychological tricks and traps that companies devise to win our hard-earned dollars.

Picking up from where Vance Packard's best-selling classic, The Hidden Persuaders, left off more than half-a-century ago, Lindstrom reveals:

  • New findings that reveal how advertisers and marketers intentionally target children at an alarmingly young age – starting when they are still in the womb!
  • Shocking results of an fMRI study which uncovered what heterosexual men really think about when they see sexually provocative advertising (hint: it isn’t their girlfriends).
  • How marketers and retailers stoke the flames of public panic and capitalize on paranoia over global contagions, extreme weather events, and food contamination scares.
  • The first ever neuroscientific evidence proving how addicted we all are to our iPhones and our Blackberry’s (and the shocking reality of cell phone addiction - it can be harder to shake than addictions to drugs and alcohol).
  • How companies of all stripes are secretly mining our digital footprints to uncover some of the most intimate details of our private lives, then using that information to target us with ads and offers "perfectly tailored" to our psychological profiles.
  • How certain companies, like the maker of one popular lip balm, purposely adjust their formulas in order to make their products chemically addictive.
  • What a 3-month long guerilla marketing experiment, conducted specifically for this book, tells us about the most powerful hidden persuader of them all.
  • And much more!

From the Hardcover edition.

©2011 Martin Lindstrom (P)2011 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"I've only read two business books from cover to cover in the last five years: Buyology and Brandwashed. It is no coincidence that Martin Lindstrom is the author of both of those books. Brandwashed is smart, thought-provoking, and laugh out loud funny." (Steven Levitt, Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago and bestselling author of Freakonomics)

“If you buy products, you need to read this book. It's really that simple.” (Tom Rath, New York Times best-selling author of StrengthFinder 2.0 and How Full is Your Bucket)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Doug Austin, TX 10-22-11
    Doug Austin, TX 10-22-11 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Conspiracy Against Our Subconscious"

    Definitely buy the book. The author will even explain WHY you are reading through these recommendations right now and why it will make you more likely to buy his book. The author ignores the ancient plea to "PAY NO ATTENTION TO MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN." If you are craving to hear the details of genius-level strategies aimed at YOU....then here it is on a silver platter.

    Although the author will literally spellbind you with 10 hours of addictive, yes addictive, facts about you and me as consumers...I believe you'll be surprised by your own reaction to this expose. I found myself feeling fascinated and delighted when the marketers got it right, even when I understood the invasive efforts they employed.

    On accident, I believe this book behaves more as a journey to the center of the HUMAN PSYCHE. You ARE being studied. You will make trillions of decisions during your lifetime...only now, with the awesome powers of the 21st Century at hand, geniuses have planted a flag at each cross-road. To buy, or not to buy....THAT is truly the question.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt S. Ohio USA 10-08-11
    Matt S. Ohio USA 10-08-11 Member Since 2007
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    "Fascinating Collection of (What Should Be) Obvious"

    To be honest, I found little in this book to be truly surprising. Nevertheless, the author clearly hs the expertise and background to share concrete examples of marketing tactics. I found myself especially in awe of tactics used by Whole Foods, and smiled when reading about how clothing manufacturers continue to "grow" sizes to match our countries growing wasteline (most people are more likely to buy Brand X jeans that "fit them" then acknowledge that they're actually 4" bigger around the waste than they were in college). My only real complaint about the book is that- until the final paragraphs of the last chapter- it completely ignores any of the advantages and positive effects of targeted marketing (ie. the fact that I may discover, purchase, and improve my life by using a product that I might never had know existed).

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynn 04-16-12
    Lynn 04-16-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "No Place to Run, No Place to Hide"

    Brandwashed by Martin Lindstrom is a delightful, though disturbing, read. In this volume Lindstrom follows up on his Buyology to reveal how marketers are targeting US! (Surprise, surprise.) Apparently, Lindstrom leaves no stone unturned and there are surprises on every page. For example, what are the tricks that Whole Foods uses to make customers think items are fresh or organic. (Hint, apples over 12 months old may be sprayed with water.) Data mining allows retailers to alter music playing to agree with customer profiles in the store. Lindstrom supports his statements with fMRI evidence and other research that will enlighten. The most interesting chapters to me involved the use of data mining … there is a no place to run and no place to hide. Brandwashed is an intelligent, entertaining, informative read. The reading of Dan Woren is a plus.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick ALEXANDRIA, VA, United States 02-15-12
    Patrick ALEXANDRIA, VA, United States 02-15-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brillian book on Marketing!"
    Would you listen to Brandwashed again? Why?

    Great book that explores the various tools and tricks marketers use to sell to us. Some of them actually scared me - marketing to unborn children?... WOW.

    This is a true tour-de-force written in a brilliant maner. Simple to understand and easy to follow, without boring you to tears. Full of real life examples of how we are bering brainwashed by brands...


    What does Dan Woren bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Great reader - keeps you wanting to listen more.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tomer AMSTERDAM, Netherlands 07-11-12
    Tomer AMSTERDAM, Netherlands 07-11-12 Member Since 2009
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    "wonderfull and frightening at the same time"

    This is an amazing read about the way consumer branding works. it's like a roller-coaster - I found it wonderful but also very frightening: any idea you might had about "big brother" is used, and more.
    I recommend this book to everybody, certainly if you are a part of this industry but maybe mainly as a consumer - know how you are being brain washed, brandwashed...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ML Carlsbad, California, USA 05-01-12
    ML Carlsbad, California, USA 05-01-12
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    "A bit sensationalistic, sometimes very interesting"
    Would you try another book from Martin Lindstrom and/or Dan Woren?

    I kept thinking to myself, when was the last time I bought something because of a commercial or ad? Not often. Maybe I'm not that easily persuaded, and so all the scary language in the book about being manipulated seemed over the top. Lots of interesting real life examples of ad campaigns and brain research though.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike 03-14-12
    Mike 03-14-12

    Stumbled upon audio books a little while ago and I enjoy them now. I mostly listen to books related to science, Buddhism, and some fantasy.

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    "Good Information with references"

    Choice of narrator was excellent for this type of book. "Classical" High energy, marketing talk type, fits perfectly. The only better choice would be a celebrity reader, which would have fit very well with this book, but I doubt many A list celebrities would have agreed to...

    I learned quite a bit of detailed information listening to this book, even some additional information on the parts I thought I knew about. The author really sounds like a marketing industry veteran in his field which helps give credibility to his book, along with references on how and where his information comes from. The information presented here also ties in well very to general Social Psychology.

    This should be taught to children to help prepare them for the onslaught of aggressive marketing they will be subject to as they are growing up, and help them make more informed choices.

    I highly recommend listening to this book.

    ( Guess the author's marketing worked on me! And for once I'm glad it did. )

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rod Billings, MT, United States 02-04-12
    Rod Billings, MT, United States 02-04-12 Member Since 2007

    Constant and never ending improvement.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very enlightening"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This book helps a person to understand what parts of the brain and psyche are being influenced in particular marketing and sales situations and why. It also helps a person to understand that some natural brain processes are vulnerable to manipulation at times, and large marketing firms and corporate marketing departments have put a lot of time into learning and understanding how to best utilize this for the benefit of growing sales for the corporation.
    As well, it can also help a person to become better at presenting and communicating their ideas to other individuals based upon some of the principles covered in the book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Denmark 01-19-12
    Michael Denmark 01-19-12
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    "Mandatory for any consumer (and their offspring!)"

    If you walk into a book store, you will probably find this book in the "Business" Section. The title of the book somehow also appeals to people looking for a 'Business-Type' Book - both actually being a shame, because Brandwashed should be mandatory reading/listening for any modern consumer.

    Matrin Lindstrom takes you through an almost endless number of scenarios, all written with authority and a good sence of humour, where you as consumer (or your spouce or children) is left to the mercy of modern marketing.

    It is also very facinating to learn about the huge efforts Brands and marketers takes, to get you "hooked" on their brand.

    The only Topic I can come up with, that Martin Lindstrom leaves unmentioned is Religion - but that might also be a bit too controversial for the US Market.

    If nothing else, Martin demonstrates exactly why he is in the Champions League among marketers - Well Done!

    After reading or listening to this book, shopping will never be the same again (at least as long as you can remember the 1000+ subtle ways you are manipulated every minute you are in the world of consumation).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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