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Decoding the New Consumer Mind: How and Why We Shop and Buy Hardcover – March 31, 2014

4.6 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“In the world of shopping, Decoding the New Consumer Mind will make waves. This important book explains it all, uncovering where we are going and showing how individuals and companies can advance their offerings as well as their bottom lines.”
—from the foreword by Paco Underhill, CEO, Envirosell, and author, Why We Buy

“When I read ‘the past is no longer prologue’ in the opening chapter, I knew Kit Yarrow was on to something. Flexibility is more important than strategies grounded in past consumer experience. Kit illustrates this with fine research and stories of real people coping in our world of overload, overindulgence, and isolation. A must-read if you are a marketer, a retailer, a manufacturer, or a consumer trying to understand how the rules have changed.”
—Peter Stringham, chairman and CEO, Young & Rubicam Group

“The pace of change at retail is breathtaking and nowhere is that more evident than in ecommerce. Kit’s emphasis on the major drivers of this change, including the need for authenticity, continuous innovation, and building community, is right on the money. Decoding the New Consumer Mind is full of great insights, fascinating cases, and actionable ideas.”
—Susan Feldman, cofounder and chief merchandising officer, One Kings Lane

“Yarrow’s concept of the radical individualism of consumers is inspiring but challenging. Her solution of promoting trust through connection is absolutely on target.”
—Richard Edelman, president and CEO, Edelman

“Kit digs deeply into how and why people shop, perfectly putting into perspective how time has changed today’s shopper and how retailers must adjust to those changes. Decoding the New Consumer Mind is entertaining, insightful, and chock-full of recommendations for retailers.”
—Matthew Shay, president and CEO, National Retail Federation

“Kit brings a unique combination of academic prowess and keen contemporary insight to all her work. With her trademark frankness and humor, she documents three major psychological shifts that have profoundly impacted how consumers shop and buy. Decoding the New Consumer Mind is an absolute must-read for any business that intends on thriving in the new consumer reality.”
—Doug Stephens, founder, Retail Prophet, and author, The Retail Revival

From the Inside Flap

“In the world of shopping, Decoding the New Consumer Mind will make waves. This important book explains it all, uncovering where we are going and showing how individuals and companies can advance their offerings as well as their bottom lines.”
—from the foreword by PACO UNDERHILL, CEO, Envirosell, and author, Why We Buy

A decade of swift and stunning change has profoundly affected the psychology of how, when, and why we shop and buy. In Decoding the New Consumer Mind, award-winning consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow shares surprising insights about the new motivations and behaviors of shoppers, taking marketers where they need to be today: into the deeply psychological and often unconscious relationships that people have with products, retailers, marketing communications, and brands.

Drawing on hundreds of consumer interviews and shop-alongs, Yarrow reveals the trends that define our transformed behavior. For example, when we shop we show greater emotionality, hunting for more intense experiences and seeking relief and distraction online. A profound sense of isolation and individualism shapes the way we express ourselves and connect with brands and retailers. Neurological research even suggests that our brains are rewired, altering what we crave, how we think, and where our attention goes.

Decoding the New Consumer Mind provides marketers with practical ways to tap into this new consumer psychology, and Yarrow shows how to combine technology and innovation to enhance brand image; win love and loyalty through authenticity and integrity; put the consumer’s needs and preferences front and center; and deliver the most emotionally intense, yet uncomplicated, experience possible. Armed with Yarrow’s strategies, marketers will be able to connect more effectively with consumers—driving profit and success across the organization.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (March 31, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118647688
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118647684
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on May 31, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Some months ago I bought a book called Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping--Updated and Revised for the Internet, the Global Consumer, and Beyond. It was definitely an eye-opener. Paco Underhill went into great detail about how and where we buy. It seems his team spent hours watching customers going around large department stores, looking at this and that, and maybe trying it on, before deciding to buy it.

Unfortunately, we buy less and less in stores and more online. You can't sit at someone's shoulder watching them go through websites and deciding which item is best. That's why Kit Yarrow has made a quantum leap forward in showing what sort of thoughts are going consumer's minds before they click on the fateful "Buy Now" button.

Yarrow interviewed a large number of people, mainly women. Some of the reasons they give for buying something are difficult for me to understand. Her first example is a woman who buys a pair of jeans in a size too small for her. She justifies this action by assessing what she would be able to sell them for, along with other items she has that are not her size.

Being a mere male, and one who is not noticed for his sartorial gait, I find this behavior hard to comprehend, similar to women who meet their friends to shop in the sales. But the most amazing thing I came across was the woman who bought Hermes scarves, decided that they were too expensive, and decided to drop them from her shopping list.

Yarrow points out that all of these consumers can be influenced by actions of the manufacturer.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Marketing psychologist Kit Yarrow explains how technology has rewired our brains, making us more individualistic, isolated, emotional, and distrustful. This is not a pessimistic book, however—it's a practical guide to addressing customers' desires and insecurities in a time of deep cultural shifts. Not only has she done her homework, she presents the results with lightness and clarity. One of the best marketing books I've read.
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HANDS DOWN the BEST Marketing Psychology book I've ever read! I've been preaching the same concepts in this book for years. It's nice to finally see them all confirmed by such a well written author like Kit! We are ALL emotional buyers!!
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By YW on June 10, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Interesting topic that taps into consumers' psychology that helps explain their shopping behaviors and attitudes. It's a good read for marketers trying to understand technology-savvy consumers. The book didn't offer advice on strategies or tactics till the last few chapters. The author spent quite some time discuss consumers' mindset nowadays - more self-reliant, highly distracted, crankier, just to name a few. The case she made about facebook resonated with me. I myself deleted facebook app from my iphone more than a year ago and didn't regret at all. I still check facebook once or twice a day but don't feel this impulse to check the app every half an hour for fear of missing something important. I spent my time elsewhere that adds value to myself.

The author suggest that brands should at least try to be innovative to stay in the game. The perception of being technologically advanced help build trust between consumers and the brand. Which you would trust more? A company you can't even find their website or one that's actively engaged and sophisticated in leveraging the social media space?

The book mentioned a couple of recent marketing campaigns - for example, Kleenex "Share the Softness" is brilliant. In addition, Lululemon and other fashion brands asked their shoppers to share photos. Everyone is a model. These user-generated content have proven to drive brand awareness as well as contribute to sales growth.

Overall, it's a nice read with updated references.
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Decoding the New Consumer Mind cements Kit Yarrow's position as the undisputed guru of contemporary consumer psychology. Her research is indepth, meaningful and significant. Rather than conduct surveys and quantitatively analyze data to evaluate hypotheses and come to narrow conclusions with little, at best, practical implication, Yarrow leaves this work to others and impeccably cites it while laboriously spending thousands of hours actually interviewing consumers, accompanying them on shopping trips and visiting and exploring their homes to identify trends and themes in buyer behavior which have broad implications for marketers. The writing style is engaging, conversational and appropriately witty at times. Not only will you better understand consumers, in general, you'll better understand yourself as you gain insights into your own behavior as a consumer. This book is not only about business but also about contemporary life and society and is a true gift to the reader. It should be required reading for any college and graduate level course in marketing and consumer behavior. Welcome to the Brave New World of contemporary consumer psychology.
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