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Buying In: The Secret Dialogue between What We Buy and Who We Are

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Buying In: The Secret Dialogue between What We Buy and Who We Are Cover

ISBN13: 9781400063918
ISBN10: 1400063914
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Brands are dead. Advertising no longer works. Weaned on TiVo, the Internet, and other emerging technologies, the short-attention-span generation has become immune to marketing. Consumers are "in control." Or so we're told.

In Buying In, New York Times Magazine "Consumed" columnist Rob Walker argues that this accepted wisdom misses a much more important and lasting cultural shift. As technology has created avenues for advertising anywhere and everywhere, people are embracing brands more than ever before–creating brands of their own and participating in marketing campaigns for their favorite brands in unprecedented ways. Increasingly, motivated consumers are pitching in to spread the gospel virally, whether by creating Internet video ads for Converse All Stars or becoming word-of-mouth "agents" touting products to friends and family on behalf of huge corporations. In the process, they — we — have begun to funnel cultural, political, and community activities through connections with brands.

Walker explores this changing cultural landscape — including a practice he calls "murketing," blending the terms murky and marketing — by introducing us to the creative marketers, entrepreneurs, artists, and community organizers who have found a way to thrive within it. Using profiles of brands old and new, including Timberland, American Apparel, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Red Bull, iPod, and Livestrong, Walker demonstrates the ways in which buyers adopt products, not just as consumer choices, but as conscious expressions of their identities.

Part marketing primer, part work of cultural anthropology, Buying In reveals why now, more than ever, we are what we buy — and vice versa.

Review:

"The most trenchant psychoanalyst of our consumer selves is Rob Walker. This is a fresh and fascinating exploration of the places where material culture and identity intersect." Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food

Review:

"This book has vast social implications, far beyond the fields of marketing and branding....[A] must-read." Po Bronson, author of What Should I Do with My Life?

Review:

"Rob Walker is a terrific writer who understands both human nature and the business world. His book is highly entertaining, but it's also a deeply thoughtful look at the ways in which marketing meets the modern psyche." Bethany McLean, editor at large, Fortune, and co-author of The Smartest Guys in the Room

Review:

"Rob Walker is a gift. He shows that in our shattered, scattered world, powerful brands are existential, insinuating themselves into the human questions 'What am I about?' and 'How do I connect?' His insight that brand influence is becoming both more pervasive and more hidden — that we are not so self-defined as we like to think — should make us disturbed, and vigilant." Jim Collins, author of Good to Great

Synopsis:

A New York Times "Consumed" columnist presents a counter-intuitive look at the convergence of marketing and culture in contemporary life.

Synopsis:

“Fascinating … A compelling blend of cultural anthropology and business journalism.” — Andrea Sachs, Time Magazine

“An often startling tour of new cultural terrain.” — Laura Miller, Salon

“Marked by meticulous research and careful conclusions, this superbly readable book confirms New York Times journalist Walker as an expert on consumerism. … [A] thoughtful and unhurried investigation into consumerism that pushes the analysis to the maximum…” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Brands are dead. Advertising no longer works. Weaned on TiVo, the Internet, and other emerging technologies, the short-attention-span generation has become immune to marketing. Consumers are “in control.” Or so were told.

In Buying In, New York Times Magazine “Consumed” columnist Rob Walker argues that this accepted wisdom misses a much more important and lasting cultural shift. As technology has created avenues for advertising anywhere and everywhere, people are embracing brands more than ever before-creating brands of their own and participating in marketing campaigns for their favorite brands in unprecedented ways. Increasingly, motivated consumers are pitching in to spread the gospel virally, whether by creating Internet video ads for Converse All Stars or becoming word-of-mouth “agents” touting products to friends and family on behalf of huge corporations. In the process, they-we-have begun to funnel cultural, political, and community activities through connections with brands.

Walker explores this changing cultural landscape-including a practice he calls “murketing,” blending the terms murky and marketing-by introducing us to the creative marketers, entrepreneurs, artists, and community organizers who have found a way to thrive within it. Using profiles of brands old and new, including Timberland, American Apparel, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Red Bull, iPod, and Livestrong, Walker demonstrates the ways in which buyers adopt products, not just as consumer choices, but as conscious expressions of their identities.

Part marketing primer, part work of cultural anthropology, Buying In reveals why now, more than ever, we are what we buy-and vice versa.

Praise for Buying In

“Walker … makes a startling claim: Far from being immune to advertising, as many people think, American consumers are increasingly active participants in the marketing process. … [He] leads readers through a series of lucid case studies to demonstrate that, in many cases, consumers actively participate in infusing a brand with meaning. … Convincing.” — Jay Dixit, The Washington Post

“Walker lays out his theory in well-written, entertaining detail.” — Seth Stevenson, Slate

Buying In delves into the attitudes of the global consumer in the age of plenty, and, well, we arent too pretty. Walker carries the reader on a frenetically paced tour of senseless consumption spanning from Viking ranges to custom high-tops.” — Robert Blinn, Core77

“Rob Walker is one smart shopper.” — Jen Trolio, ReadyMade

“The most trenchant psychoanalyst of our consumer selves is Rob Walker. This is a fresh and fascinating exploration of the places where material culture and identity intersect.”

-Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food

“This book has vast social implications, far beyond the fields of marketing and branding. It obliterates our old paradigm of companies (the bad guys) corrupting our children (the innocents) via commercials. In this new world, media-literate young people freely and willingly co-opt the brands, and most companies are clueless bystanders desperate to keep up. I really don't know if this is good news or bad news, but I can say, with certainty, that this book is a must-read.”

-Po Bronson, author of What Should I Do with My Life?

“Rob Walker is a gift. He shows that in our shattered, scattered world, powerful brands are existential, insinuating themselves into the human questions ‘What am I about? and ‘How do I connect? His insight that brand influence is becoming both more pervasive and more hidden-that we are not so self-defined as we like to think-should make us disturbed, and vigilant.”

-Jim Collins, author of Good to Great

“Rob Walker is a terrific writer who understands both human nature and the business world. His book is highly entertaining, but its also a deeply thoughtful look at the ways in which marketing meets the modern psyche.”

-Bethany McLean, editor at large, Fortune, and co-author of The Smartest Guys in the Room

“Are we living in an era of YouTube-empowered, brand-rejecting consumers? Rob Walker has the surprising answers, and you wont want to miss this joyride through the front lines of consumer culture. A marketing must-read.”

-Chip Heath and Dan Heath, authors of Made to Stick

“Rob Walker brilliantly deconstructs the religion of consumption. Love his column, couldnt put his book down.”

-Paco Underhill, author of Why We Buy

About the Author

Rob Walker writes the weekly column "Consumed," a blend of business journalism and cultural anthropology, for The New York Times Magazine. Previously, he created and wrote the popular "Ad Report Card" column for Slate, and he has contributed to a wide range of publications, from Fast Company and Fortune to The New Republic and AdBusters. Walker continues to write about the secret dialogue between what we buy and who we are at his own website, Murketing.com. He lives in Savannah, Georgia, with his wife, photographer Ellen Susan.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

grailseven, June 18, 2008 (view all comments by grailseven)
Insightful dissection of modern marketing - Walker has done his research, and lays it all out here. The "modern consumer" thinks they're immune to marketing - Walker knows better, and the kicker isn't just a lack of immunity, but complicity with the marketers. A great read.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(4 of 14 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400063918
Author:
Walker, Rob
Publisher:
Random House (NY)
Subject:
Brand name products
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Marketing - General
Subject:
Consumer Behavior - General
Subject:
Brand name products -- United States.
Subject:
Branding (Marketing) - United States
Subject:
Business;Marketing
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20080631
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9.28x6.42x1.05 in. 1.20 lbs.

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Related Subjects


Business » General
Business » Management
Business » Marketing

Buying In: The Secret Dialogue between What We Buy and Who We Are New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$25.00 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Random House - English 9781400063918 Reviews:
"Review" by , "The most trenchant psychoanalyst of our consumer selves is Rob Walker. This is a fresh and fascinating exploration of the places where material culture and identity intersect."
"Review" by , "This book has vast social implications, far beyond the fields of marketing and branding....[A] must-read."
"Review" by , "Rob Walker is a terrific writer who understands both human nature and the business world. His book is highly entertaining, but it's also a deeply thoughtful look at the ways in which marketing meets the modern psyche."
"Review" by , "Rob Walker is a gift. He shows that in our shattered, scattered world, powerful brands are existential, insinuating themselves into the human questions 'What am I about?' and 'How do I connect?' His insight that brand influence is becoming both more pervasive and more hidden — that we are not so self-defined as we like to think — should make us disturbed, and vigilant."
"Synopsis" by , A New York Times "Consumed" columnist presents a counter-intuitive look at the convergence of marketing and culture in contemporary life.
"Synopsis" by , “Fascinating … A compelling blend of cultural anthropology and business journalism.” — Andrea Sachs, Time Magazine

“An often startling tour of new cultural terrain.” — Laura Miller, Salon

“Marked by meticulous research and careful conclusions, this superbly readable book confirms New York Times journalist Walker as an expert on consumerism. … [A] thoughtful and unhurried investigation into consumerism that pushes the analysis to the maximum…” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Brands are dead. Advertising no longer works. Weaned on TiVo, the Internet, and other emerging technologies, the short-attention-span generation has become immune to marketing. Consumers are “in control.” Or so were told.

In Buying In, New York Times Magazine “Consumed” columnist Rob Walker argues that this accepted wisdom misses a much more important and lasting cultural shift. As technology has created avenues for advertising anywhere and everywhere, people are embracing brands more than ever before-creating brands of their own and participating in marketing campaigns for their favorite brands in unprecedented ways. Increasingly, motivated consumers are pitching in to spread the gospel virally, whether by creating Internet video ads for Converse All Stars or becoming word-of-mouth “agents” touting products to friends and family on behalf of huge corporations. In the process, they-we-have begun to funnel cultural, political, and community activities through connections with brands.

Walker explores this changing cultural landscape-including a practice he calls “murketing,” blending the terms murky and marketing-by introducing us to the creative marketers, entrepreneurs, artists, and community organizers who have found a way to thrive within it. Using profiles of brands old and new, including Timberland, American Apparel, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Red Bull, iPod, and Livestrong, Walker demonstrates the ways in which buyers adopt products, not just as consumer choices, but as conscious expressions of their identities.

Part marketing primer, part work of cultural anthropology, Buying In reveals why now, more than ever, we are what we buy-and vice versa.

Praise for Buying In

“Walker … makes a startling claim: Far from being immune to advertising, as many people think, American consumers are increasingly active participants in the marketing process. … [He] leads readers through a series of lucid case studies to demonstrate that, in many cases, consumers actively participate in infusing a brand with meaning. … Convincing.” — Jay Dixit, The Washington Post

“Walker lays out his theory in well-written, entertaining detail.” — Seth Stevenson, Slate

Buying In delves into the attitudes of the global consumer in the age of plenty, and, well, we arent too pretty. Walker carries the reader on a frenetically paced tour of senseless consumption spanning from Viking ranges to custom high-tops.” — Robert Blinn, Core77

“Rob Walker is one smart shopper.” — Jen Trolio, ReadyMade

“The most trenchant psychoanalyst of our consumer selves is Rob Walker. This is a fresh and fascinating exploration of the places where material culture and identity intersect.”

-Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food

“This book has vast social implications, far beyond the fields of marketing and branding. It obliterates our old paradigm of companies (the bad guys) corrupting our children (the innocents) via commercials. In this new world, media-literate young people freely and willingly co-opt the brands, and most companies are clueless bystanders desperate to keep up. I really don't know if this is good news or bad news, but I can say, with certainty, that this book is a must-read.”

-Po Bronson, author of What Should I Do with My Life?

“Rob Walker is a gift. He shows that in our shattered, scattered world, powerful brands are existential, insinuating themselves into the human questions ‘What am I about? and ‘How do I connect? His insight that brand influence is becoming both more pervasive and more hidden-that we are not so self-defined as we like to think-should make us disturbed, and vigilant.”

-Jim Collins, author of Good to Great

“Rob Walker is a terrific writer who understands both human nature and the business world. His book is highly entertaining, but its also a deeply thoughtful look at the ways in which marketing meets the modern psyche.”

-Bethany McLean, editor at large, Fortune, and co-author of The Smartest Guys in the Room

“Are we living in an era of YouTube-empowered, brand-rejecting consumers? Rob Walker has the surprising answers, and you wont want to miss this joyride through the front lines of consumer culture. A marketing must-read.”

-Chip Heath and Dan Heath, authors of Made to Stick

“Rob Walker brilliantly deconstructs the religion of consumption. Love his column, couldnt put his book down.”

-Paco Underhill, author of Why We Buy

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