Marketing among us super-social apes

Recently, I took the train to a meeting in Sheffield. I took work along, part of my justification for not driving (together with my lack of depth vision which would lead me to crash into nearby small objects in the belief that they were far away and large) but finished it all on the way over. Still being on the clock workwise, I decided to buy a work-related book to read on the way back (rather than look at the beautiful scenery.) Sheffield has a branch of Blackwells serving the ‘university quarter’, in which I found Herd: How to change mass behaviour by harnessing our true nature, by Mark Earls. I bought it because of its unexpected title and pretty-coloured cover:

pretty in pink

It kept me occupied for the journey back and at odd times since. It’s an enjoyable but challenging read, partly as its central premise that we are “a ‘We species with the illusion of ‘I'”, a herd animal, a super-social ape, goes against the grain of individualism that is such a a core belief. It’s also challenging in that it slaughters a whole herd of marketing’s sacred cows: AIDA, focus groups, one-to-one marketing all get stunned and dispatched. But it’s not just a hatchet-job and life with a “‘we’ perspective” is more fun than the ‘herd’ label implies. He has some very useful things to say about patterns of influence, belief and being interesting as the core of branding – in the book and on his blog: http://herd.typepad.com/herd_the_hidden_truth_abo/

3 thoughts on “Marketing among us super-social apes

  1. Not sure if I want to be seen as an ape…
    Also, I think I can be individual – that’s why I resist marketing…

  2. That puts you in the lucrative market segment of ‘people who resist marketing’. Somewhere a cash register is ringing…

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