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Buying Into Buying In May 23, 2009

Posted by Brian L. Belen in Books, Reviews.

Rob Walker knows a lot about “murketing“. After all, the New York Times Magazine’sConsumed” columnist did coin the term — a portmanteau of “murky” and “marketing” — to capture the increasingly unconventional and vague tactics used to peddle products to today’s consumers. Such is the dilemma facing the modern marketer today: how to make a product stand out among other products that are themselves “good enough” for the consumer, in an environment where it is unclear exactly who would want the said object in the first place.

Such is at the core of Walker’s latest book, Buying In: The Secret Dialogue between What We Buy and Who We Are, easily one of the most intelligent books on shelves today. It is in large part a tour de force revolving around the evolution of present day advertising and marketing, covering mass marketing, viral videos and everything else in between. Yet it is also an acutely observant treatise on human behavior, albeit one specially focused on consumption (naturally). Undeniably erudite, Buying In is that rare breed of must-read material that is at once informative, insightful and entertaining.



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