The best books to help you understand the mind of your customer

Daryl Weber Author Of Brand Seduction: How Neuroscience Can Help Marketers Build Memorable Brands
By Daryl Weber

Who am I?

Since I was young, I was fascinated with how the mind works; how all of our thoughts, feelings, memories, decisions, and actions come out of this lump of flesh in our heads. I studied consciousness, psychology, and neuroscience both at university, and on my own for decades. Once I started working in marketing, for many of the biggest and best brands in the world, I realized that marketers tend to have deep misconceptions and misunderstandings for how the mind actually works. My goal is to bridge the gap between all of the knowledge we have about the brain, and how that could be helpful to brands and marketers. 


I wrote...

Brand Seduction: How Neuroscience Can Help Marketers Build Memorable Brands

By Daryl Weber,

Book cover of Brand Seduction: How Neuroscience Can Help Marketers Build Memorable Brands

What is my book about?

In Brand Seduction, author Daryl Weber reveals the latest psychological and neuroscientific discoveries about how our minds process brand information and make decisions, and the important roles our emotions and unconscious play in our selections. 

Through simple language, engaging stories, and real-world examples, Brand Seduction shows you how to decode, build, and use these hidden brand fantasies to grow your brand and business.

The books I picked & why

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The Hidden Power of Advertising

By Robert Heath,

Book cover of The Hidden Power of Advertising

Why this book?

The Hidden Power of Advertising opened my eyes to a whole new way of understanding brands and marketing. He makes a compelling case for how advertising works at an unconscious level, and how marketers mostly ignore this powerful and hidden side of brands. He shares powerful, eye-opening studies done directly on advertising campaigns, and uses real-world examples to give practical advice that’s far from the usual marketing advice. 

The Hidden Power of Advertising

By Robert Heath,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Hidden Power of Advertising as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The way advertising works is not so transparent after all. Advertising does have some sort of hidden power which enables it to influence us without our realising it.

The Hidden Power of Advertising presents a radical new challenge to traditional thinking about the way consumers interact with and process brand communication. For over 70 years the universal assumption has been that advertising is only effective if it consciously persuades consumers to choose a particular brand. In such circumstances attention is critical, which is why most of the advertising industry's creative resource is focused on achieving the highest possible levels of…


The Mental World of Brands

By Giep Franzen, Margot Bouwman,

Book cover of The Mental World of Brands

Why this book?

This book goes even deeper into the neuroscience of brands, and how consumers make their decisions using mental models. This is a bit more academic, but can give a deeper and richer understanding of the processes at play in the unconscious mind when it comes to consumer decision making. 

The Mental World of Brands

By Giep Franzen, Margot Bouwman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Mental World of Brands as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Mental World of Brands provides a compelling new startpoint for developing new and better relationships between brand and consumer. It asks: how does the brain work? How does it form memories and associations, and how can we make best use of this knowledge to leverage brands and protect and expand market share?

The book shows how awareness is generated, how people put meanings to brands, and the importance of memory, emotion and language. It also discusses the use of brand research, not just as a separate academic area, but as an important part of the brand representation process.

*…


Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain

By Antonio Damasio,

Book cover of Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain

Why this book?

The work of Dr. Damasio was foundational in building my understanding of how human emotions work, and their role in human actions and decision making. This book explores Damasio’s work in detail, giving a rich understanding of human emotions – and how they are not frivolous things but actually core to how humans act and behave. 

Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain

By Antonio Damasio,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Descartes' Error as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the centuries since Descartes famously proclaimed, 'I think, therefore I am,' science has often overlooked emotions as the source of a person's true being. Even modern neuroscience has tended until recently to concentrate on the cognitive aspects of brain function, disregarding emotions. This attitude began to change with the publication of Descartes' Error. Antonio Damasio challenged traditional ideas about the connection between emotions and rationality. In this wonderfully engaging book, Damasio takes the reader on a journey of scientific discovery through a series of case studies, demonstrating what many of us have long suspected: emotions are not a luxury,…


All Marketers Are Liars: The Underground Classic That Explains How Marketing Really Works--And Why Authenticity Is the Best Marketing of All

By Seth Godin,

Book cover of All Marketers Are Liars: The Underground Classic That Explains How Marketing Really Works--And Why Authenticity Is the Best Marketing of All

Why this book?

Seth Godin has become a leading voice and best-selling author, especially in the world of marketing. While others of his books are more widely known, this book is very underappreciated. It is wonderfully written and helps you truly understand the role of marketing in today’s world to truly connect with how consumers see the world, and your brand within it. 

All Marketers Are Liars: The Underground Classic That Explains How Marketing Really Works--And Why Authenticity Is the Best Marketing of All

By Seth Godin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked All Marketers Are Liars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The indispensable classic on marketing by the bestselling author of Tribes and Purple Cow.

Legendary business writer Seth Godin has three essential questions for every marketer:

“What’s your story?”

“Will the people who need to hear this story believe it?”

“Is it true?”

All marketers tell stories. And if they do it right, we believe them. We believe that wine tastes better in a $20 glass than a $1 glass. We believe that an $80,000 Porsche is vastly superior to a $36,000 Volkswagen that’s virtually the same car. We believe that $225 sneakers make our feet feel better—and look cooler—than…


Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

By Dan Ariely,

Book cover of Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

Why this book?

This book was one of the first to really show – to a mainstream audience – just how irrational we humans are. With fascinating explanations of his own research, this book paints a picture of how the mind works in very unexpected, albeit predictable, ways. Here’s one teaser example: if you add a few drops of vinegar to beer, most people will say it actually tastes better…but only if they don’t know you added it. If they know, they think it tastes worse. 

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

By Dan Ariely,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Predictably Irrational as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Why do smart people make irrational decisions every day? The answers will surprise you. Predictably Irrational is an intriguing, witty and utterly original look at why we all make illogical decisions.

Why can a 50p aspirin do what a 5p aspirin can't? If an item is "free" it must be a bargain, right? Why is everything relative, even when it shouldn't be? How do our expectations influence our actual opinions and decisions?

In this astounding book, behavioural economist Dan Ariely cuts to the heart of our strange behaviour, demonstrating how irrationality often supplants rational thought and that the reason for…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in marketing, decision making, and reason?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about marketing, decision making, and reason.

Marketing Explore 89 books about marketing
Decision Making Explore 45 books about decision making
Reason Explore 8 books about reason

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Stumbling on Happiness, Sapiens, and Thinking, Fast and Slow if you like this list.