The Illusion of Choice
16 ½ psychological biases that influence what we buy
by Richard Shotton
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Pub Date 28 Mar 2023 | Archive Date 27 Feb 2023
The compelling new book by Richard Shotton, author of The Choice Factory
Every day, people make hundreds of choices.
Many of these are commercial: What shampoo to pick? How much to spend on a bottle of wine? Whether to renew a subscription?
These choices might appear to be freely made, but psychologists have shown that subtle changes in the way products are positioned, promoted and marketed can radically alter how customers behave.
The Illusion of Choice identifies the 16½ most important psychological biases that everyone in business needs to be aware of today – and shows how any business can take advantage of these quirks to win customers, retain customers and sell more.
Richard Shotton, author of the acclaimed The Choice Factory, draws on academic research, previous ad campaigns and his own original field studies to create a fascinating and highly practical guide that focuses on the point where marketing meets the mind of the customer.
You’ll learn to take advantage of the peak end rule, the power of precision, the wisdom of wit – and much, much more.
You simply cannot afford to miss The Illusion of Choice.
“No one should be allowed near a layout pad or a keyboard until they have read this book. It is an antidote to the tediously direct and transactional nature of much of modern marketing.” – Rory Sutherland, author of Alchemy, vice-chairman of Ogilvy
“This book will make you better at your job. If you’re trying to get your head around behavioural science, or how to apply it, look no further – Shotton has done all the hard work for you. Keep a copy within arm’s reach – you’ll be coming back to it time and again.” – Jonah Berger, marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and internationally bestselling author of Contagious
“People behave in surprising ways, often driven by cognitive biases. The Illusion of Choice is a straightforward and practical guide to these biases and how to apply them. An essential read for every marketing professional.”– Matthew Syed, Olympian and author of Black Box Thinking
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 15 members
I loved this book. Designed for marketers or business owners wanting to drum up business. This book is marvelous.
I am not a marketer nor a business owner, but I found this book absolutely fascinating.
It provided real world experiments in which to convey why certain brands/advertising works.
I loved learning all about the experiments, how the author set up the book (a man going about his work day and the situations that he might encounter), and really all the tricks to set up advertising.
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in branding, advertising, psychology, or just needs a good easy read for the weekend.
You will not be bored or disappointed by this book.
I was fascinated by this book, and I think I will look for 'Dumb Ways to Die' on the Internet as I have not encountered it before. It is an example of the way marketing can be influenced by humour. Other ways marketing can become more effective are outlined, such as rhyming, as in the 'Coughs and Sneezes Spreads Diseases' which has been around for a long time, since the Spanish flu pandemic. Apparently there are many ways to increase sales, as well as ways to make writing more effective, like C.S. Lewis wrote to an admirer, that you should not use adjectives like terrible, instead you make your readers feel terrible. There are many ways to influence sales, but this book is interesting to the general reader as well, because it details the many ways that shoppers are influenced by marketing strategies, and for other little gems of information as well. In my opinion the book is a little gem, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about the way the world works.
I was offered this book as an ARC via NetGalley and found it to be in intriguing insight into the world of marketing. This book is aimed at people working within the marketing field (though those wanting to market their own products would find it interesting too) and so there are lots of suggestions and examples as to how research can be applied. The book is full of studies and research, many of which had surprising or counterintuitive outcomes. Personally I do find people's behaviour fascinating so this was a fairly quick and easy read that threw up some thought provoking examples. If you work in this field or are wondering how to better market your own products in this increasingly freelance economy, this book is worth a read.
To me this book strikes a perfect balance between too much and too little detail. It is also written in a light, reader-friendly way. Each chapter introduces new concept using real-life examples. It’s all brief yet explained well (and also referenced well so you can go to source material for more details). Then, you get recommendations on how to use these concepts in a way that works in real life according to experiments and data. Everything is bite-size with no fillers or fluff. Great book.
This is a well-researched and clearly-communicated book designed for marketers and business owners. All readers will find the behavioral science interesting. The book is good for consumers, too, because the reader can consider his or her own purchasing habits while learning about these methods and reading about the studies referenced.
Thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for this ARC.