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Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are Hardcover – June 3, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
Unlike typical industry commentators and critics, Walker tends not to add hype to the mix, but rather breaks down products, trends and marketing techniques to almost a scientific level. More text book than hyped book du jour.
If you're looking for a quick easy read with sound bites that will make you sound cooler to your colleagues- this is not the book for you. If you're looking to dig into a book that will make you rethink the branding of your favorite companies while offering insights into the industry in general, you should probably stop reading this review and just order the book--just don't expect to finish it in one sitting.
Walker doesn't have schtick, no funny hair or pretentious wording, just an extremely meaty read that makes me think I should reread it in case I missed anything.
I've spent since 1996 doing market research amongst youth brands (mostly amongst energy drinks as it happens, so I feel Rob's discussion of Red Bull and other players is absolutely right on the mark.) In this past decade I've been conscious that the changes we've been seeing are part of a mich bigger pattern. But Walker is the first writer and critic to stand back and really put it all in perspective. His thinking here - wide-eyed, holistic, detailed and entertainingly pertinent - puts you in the right place to see everything and how it all fits. He kind of grabs you by the sleeve to take you there, such is the energy of his writing.
One is left with the interesting question: are brands what the manufacturers make of them? Or are they appropriated by the consumer to reflect what we want of them? The subtle cover art, with the title floating between a bar-code and a thumb print, kind of sums things up. (One of the most subtle covers I've seen since Rita carter's excellent Multiplicity: The New Science of Personality, Identity, and the Self)
Rob Walker presents us with an excellent book for marketers, market researchers, tired media buyers, marketing graduates who think they know everything and anyone who is just plain fascinated by how our society ticks. This is great reading.
Actually, it's the perfect book for the layperson who is interested in how marketing is carried out nowadays.
No - it's really a stinging inditement of modern youth, with their assurances that they are "immune to marketing" going hand-in-hand with their craven embracing of "buzz marketing" - essentially doing the work for the marketers.
Well, it's really a look at how modern youth have subverted the marketing paradigm and, like our culture, broken it into countless little pieces.
...Okay. It's all of the above. And I'm writing the review this way to illustrate another point Walker makes - the point of how megaselling items/brands like the iPod, like "Hello Kitty," like American Apparel, are hugely popular because they represent whatever each individual consumer wants them to represent. Walker's book is very well researched, and examines marketing from multiple viewpoints, with all kinds of examples that readers will recognize - Nike, Walmart, companies billing themselves as "green", the rise in popularity of DIY products and marketing, Etsy.com, and so on. There doesn't seem to be any strident agenda here, except for readers to consider the effects marketing has on them - more self-awareness. Not a great deal of ranting about the deleterious effects of marketing on the wellness of society, nor conservative chest thumping about free-markets, etc. Just a great read about how marketing has moved forward in the age of TiVo and the "informed consumer." Highly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
a must read to understand the tweaking of our attention via the tweaking of our curiosity.....led down the garden path....to the brand new shoes!!Published 18 months ago by Ross Jones
"Buying In" is a thought-provoking look at America's consumer culture.
Rob Walker tells us there is a strong disconnect between theories about contemporary... Read more
I had to read it for a class project. It was really insightful and provided some novel approaches to conventional marketing approaches. An easy read.Published on December 22, 2012 by Elisa Morales
Honestly i dont read too many books because of the fact that i dislike to read period. But when i was assigned to read Buying in by Rob Walker i was actually intrested because this... Read morePublished on November 15, 2012 by MelodWahaj
This book was a great beginning point for those who are interested in marketing. Everything stated in a book about effective marketing and whatnot should be taken with a grain of... Read morePublished on January 23, 2012 by Mel Woods
I enjoyed the agency that Walker granted to consumers in understanding the influence of advertising and marketing in our purchasing decisions. Read morePublished on April 17, 2011 by Jessica
Walker provides his views on consumerism, and why we buy what we buy. He discusses how the consumer has an effect on a brand/product's meaning, and gives many examples throughout... Read morePublished on March 6, 2011 by keversma