The most recommended consumer behaviour books

Who picked these books? Meet our 56 experts.

56 authors created a book list connected to consumer behaviour, and here are their favorite consumer behaviour books.
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Book cover of Consumption Takes Time: Implications for Economic Theory

Monica L. Smith Author Of Cities: The First 6,000 Years

From my list on why humans have so much stuff.

Who am I?

I’m an archaeologist, which means that I’ve been lucky enough to travel to many places to dig and survey ancient remains. What I’ve realized in handling those dusty old objects is that all over the world, in both past and present, people are defined by their stuff: what they made, used, broke, and threw away. Most compelling are the things that people cherished despite being worn or flawed, just like we have objects in our house that are broken or old but that we keep anyway.

Monica's book list on why humans have so much stuff

Monica L. Smith Why did Monica love this book?

This looks like it’s the sternest and most boring book ever, but I love Steedman’s cool-and-collected ability to address the implications of the obvious: You can only do one thing at a time. You only have two hands. And when you’re with one set of belongings, you’re neglecting all the other stuff you own.

By Ian Steedman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Consumption Takes Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Standard economic theory of consumer behaviour considers consumers' preferences, their incomes and commodity prices to be the determinants of consumption. However, consumption takes time and no consumer has more - or less - than 168 hours per week. This simple fact is almost invisible in standard theory, and takes the centre stage in this book.


Book cover of Social Cognition: From Brains to Culture

Frank R. Kardes Author Of Handbook of Research Methods in Consumer Psychology

From my list on consumer psychology.

Who am I?

Frank R. Kardes, Ph.D. is the Donald E. Weston Professor of Marketing and Distinguished Research Professor at the Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award of the Society for Consumer Psychology, and a Fellow of five national professional societies. His research focuses on omission neglect, consumer judgment, and inference processes, persuasion and advertising, and consumer and managerial decision making. He was Co-Editor of Advances in Consumer Research, Journal of Consumer Psychology, the Handbook of Consumer Psychology, and Marketing Letters, and serves or has served on seven editorial boards. He has published nine books and over 100 articles and chapters on consumer psychology.

Frank's book list on consumer psychology

Frank R. Kardes Why did Frank love this book?

The new fourth edition of the classic text on cognitive social psychology with many important implications for understanding consumer psychology. The authors are leading researchers and the text is organized using an information processing perspective. The text covers classic social psychological topics, such as person perception, person memory, stereotyping, attitudes and persuasion, causal inference, and decision making. The text is science-based, high level, but also very readable and appropriate for a general audience.

By Susan T. Fiske, Shelley E. Taylor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Social Cognition as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The social world is complicated and our minds are limited, so we take shortcuts. You have to make quick decisions - this person is dangerous, this one is not. The shortcuts we take mostly work well enough, because, after all, we survive. But some are deeply unjust, including racial or social class categories or other unfair stereotypes.

This book will help you understand how these shortcuts work, why they exist, and how they are changing.

There are examples in each chapter which
* Show applications in the real world to help with your understanding
* Highlight significant pieces of research…


Book cover of Small Data: The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends

Wayne Moloney Author Of The Wentworth Prospect: A novel guide to success in B2B sales

From my list on B2B salespeople to stay relevant and successful.

Who am I?

Everyone survives by selling something whether we wear the title or not. Selling has been my career, even before I was a salesperson. I started my career in engineering but quickly realised my passion was in developing business, not designing industrial ventilation systems. Helped by a boss who also saw I was better suited to roles other than engineering (he wasn’t so polite) I went on to enjoy a successful career spanning 4 decades working in Australian, Asian, and European markets that embraced all facets of sales and business development. Helped by great mentors and learning from the experience of others, I have endeavoured to give back by mentoring business owners, salespeople, and writing.

Wayne's book list on B2B salespeople to stay relevant and successful

Wayne Moloney Why did Wayne love this book?

The business world is obsessed with big data and artificial intelligence. 

Big data is collected for analysis. Analysis through AI. It lacks to ability to capture emotion and to be successful long-term, businesses need to connect with their markets at an emotional level.

Lindstrom uses real-life case studies to show how looking at the little things; how people use items and why, and observing what others don’t see in a home, a workplace, or a community can help better deliver concepts that big data just can’t see.

By Martin Lindstrom,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Small Data as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The New York Times Bestseller named one of the "Most Important Books of 2016" by Inc, and a Forbes 2016 "Must Read Business Book"

'If you love 'Bones' and 'CSI', this book is your kind of candy' Paco Underhill, author of Why We Buy

'Martin's best book to date. A personal, intuitive, powerful way to look at making an impact with your work' Seth Godin, author of Purple Cow

Martin Lindstrom, one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in The World and a modern-day Sherlock Holmes, harnesses the power of "small data" in his quest to discover the next…


Book cover of Gap Selling: Getting the Customer to Yes: How Problem-Centric Selling Increases Sales by Changing Everything You Know About Relationships, Overcoming Objections, Closing and Price

Dave Kurlan Author Of Baseline Selling: How to Become a Sales Superstar by Using What You Already Know about the Game of Baseball

From my list on to become a sales superstar.

Who am I?

I've been selling professionally since 1973, and in the sales training and development business for more than 36 years. I founded Objective Management Group, the world’s leading provider of sales force evaluations and sales candidate assessments, and we have data on 2.2 million salespeople. OMG measures 21 Sales Core Competencies, so that’s around 250 findings on 2.2 million salespeople or close to 500 million data points! I've personally trained and coached tens of thousands of salespeople, sales managers, and sales leaders and I have published nearly 2,000 articles on my multi-award-winning blog, Understanding the Sales Force. I was installed in the Sales & Marketing Hall of Fame in 2013. 

Dave's book list on to become a sales superstar

Dave Kurlan Why did Dave love this book?

Gap Selling is the best book written about selling in the past ten years. Keenan comes out swinging, keeps swinging, and swings hard. He pulls no punches, hits you with the truth, and you’d better be strong enough to handle what he dishes out. Keenan’s approach is modern, consultative, and it is the right book for these challenging times.

By Keenan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Gap Selling as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

People don't buy from people they like. No! Your buyer doesn't care about you or your product or service. It's not your job to overcome objections, it's your buyer's. Closing isn't a skill of good salespeople; it's the skill of weak salespeople. Price isn't the main reason salespeople lose the sale. Gap Selling shreds traditional and closely held sales beliefs that have been hurting salespeople for decades.

For years, salespeople have embraced a myriad of sales tactics and belief systems that have unknowingly created many of the issues they have been trying to avoid such as: long sales cycles, price…


Book cover of Fanocracy: Turning Fans Into Customers and Customers Into Fans

Anne H. Janzer Author Of Subscription Marketing: Strategies for Nurturing Customers in a World of Churn

From my list on rethinking marketing.

Who am I?

I am an author, nonfiction writing geek, and marketing practitioner on a mission to help people make a positive impact with their writing. Before setting out on this path, I spent many years as a marketing consultant, working with over 100 technology companies to articulate their messaging and value to customers and prospects. My first book, Subscription Marketing, was my manifesto about the changes needed in marketing to thrive in the emerging, subscription-based world. It’s now in its third edition and has been translated into multiple languages.

Anne's book list on rethinking marketing

Anne H. Janzer Why did Anne love this book?

Want to create more raving fans for your business? Maybe true success isn’t in the number of your customers but the depth of their loyalty. David Meerman Scott writes this book together with his daughter Reiko Scott, delivering a multi-generational perspective into what it means to be a fan, and how to cultivate them.

By David Meerman Scott, Reiko Scott,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Wall Street Journal bestseller

From the author of New Rules of Marketing & PR, a bold guide to converting customer passion into marketing power.
 
How do some brands attract word-of-mouth buzz and radical devotion around products as everyday as car insurance, b2b software, and underwear? They embody the most powerful marketing force in the world: die-hard fans.
 
In this essential book, leading business growth strategist David Meerman Scott and fandom expert Reiko Scott explore the neuroscience of fandom and interview young entrepreneurs, veteran business owners, startup founders, nonprofits, and companies big and small to pinpoint which practices separate organizations…


Book cover of Inconspicuous Consumption: The Environmental Impact You Don't Know You Have

Lauren E. Oakes Author Of In Search of the Canary Tree: The Story of a Scientist, a Cypress, and a Changing World

From my list on to inspire climate action.

Who am I?

I’m a conservation scientist and a writer. I’ve always thought of human and environmental health as deeply intertwined, but as a scientist in the environmental field, I get to study how those links play out in various contexts and help people implement solutions to create a more sustainable future. At heart, I am a storyteller. I write mainly about forest and climate-related issues, but I have a broader interest in the complex relationships between people and the natural world. I hold a dual degree in Environmental Studies and Visual Art from Brown University, and I earned my Ph.D. from the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program for Environment and Resources at Stanford University.

Lauren's book list on to inspire climate action

Lauren E. Oakes Why did Lauren love this book?

When it comes to the massive issue of climate change, even citizens who are very concerned often wonder, “What can I really do to help?” The scale of the problem requires global action, but often people are left feeling like their actions alone can’t begin to make a difference. In Inconspicuous Consumption, former New York Times science writer Tatiana Schlossberg opens our eyes to the fact that our everyday choices in such a convenience-driven society contribute to the climate crisis.

Schlossberg unveils the hidden environmental impacts behind the Internet and technology, food, fashion, and fuel and traces the far-reaching effects of our daily living in a super-connected world. But, even more importantly, she shows us that our choices, such as what we eat or what we wear, could also be a part of the many solutions needed, too. In terms of a carbon footprint, I finally got a great…

By Tatiana Schlossberg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Inconspicuous Consumption as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As we become a more digital society, the gains that have been made for the environment by moving toward a paperless world with more and more efficient devices will soon be or already have been offset by the number of devices in our lives that are always using energy. But many don't think about the impact on the environment of the "Internet of things." Whether it's a microwave connected to the internet, use of Netflix, or online shopping, these technological advances have created new impacts that the people who are most well-versed in these issues haven't considered.

In INCONSPICUOUS CONSUMPTION,…


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

Emily Guy Birken Author Of Making Social Security Work for You: Advice, Strategies, and Timelines That Can Maximize Your Benefits

From my list on changing the way you look at money.

Who am I?

When I was about 8, I remember taking all the money out of my piggy bank, counting it, and carefully putting it back in again. My sister called me Ms. Moneybags. But I wasn’t worried about accumulating money. I was fascinated by money’s pure potential. I could do anything with it! From that early interest in the potential of money, I grew to be an avid reader of financial books–and that led to a surprise career as a money writer. I still love to think about money’s potential and the best ways to allocate that potential, and I love to bring my readers with me on the fascinating journey.

Emily's book list on changing the way you look at money

Emily Guy Birken Why did Emily love this book?

As of 2023, behavioral economics is no longer a surprising new look at old economics principles–but that doesn’t change just how entertaining, surprising, and challenging you will find the experiments detailed in Predictably Irrational. 

In one notable experiment, Dr. Ariely placed six-packs of soft drinks next to plates of cash inside of communal dorm fridges–to prove we tend to be honest about cash but feel no compunction about swiping someone else’s Coke. In another memorable experiment, male volunteers were asked moral questions when they were in a state of arousal–which helped prove that morals are flexible depending on the circumstances. 

Reading this book will make you realize just how often you make decisions–especially financial decisions–that are weird, illogical, and irrational.

By Dan Ariely,

Why should I read it?

13 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…


Book cover of The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads

Keith L. Downing Author Of Gradient Expectations: Structure, Origins, and Synthesis of Predictive Neural Networks

From my list on to keep an AI researcher awake at night.

Who am I?

I've been working in the field of AI for 40 years, first in graduate school and then as a professor. For the most part, I have had my head in the sand, focusing on the minutiae that occasionally lead to publications, the coins of the academic realm. When deep learning started exhibiting human-level pattern recognition abilities, the number of AI books for the general public began to swell.  Unfortunately, the science-fiction scenarios were a bit much. Since understanding, recognizing, and admitting problems are vital steps toward a solution, I find these books to be the most important warnings of the impending tech-dominated future.

Keith's book list on to keep an AI researcher awake at night

Keith L. Downing Why did Keith love this book?

Although it is now a well-known fact that many actors are fighting for our online attention, and will do just about anything to get and keep it, Wu puts it all in historical perspective by going back to the 1800’s and the beginning of print advertising. 

He then traces our relationships with ads across a century and four screens: movies, television, home computers, and finally the cell phone. For the same reason that I enjoy reading history books to try to make some sense of the world’s current political chaos, this masterpiece by Wu should ensure you that nothing about human greed has changed in any major way: the tools of exploitation just get more powerful and more addictive.

By Tim Wu,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Attention Merchants as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Attention merchant: an industrial-scale harvester of human attention. A firm whose business model is the mass capture of attention for resale to advertisers.
In nearly every moment of our waking lives, we face a barrage of advertising enticements, branding efforts, sponsored social media, commercials and other efforts to harvest our attention. Over the last century, few times or spaces have remained uncultivated by the 'attention merchants', contributing to the distracted, unfocused tenor of our times. Tim Wu argues that this is not simply the byproduct of recent inventions but the end result of more than a century's growth and expansion…


Book cover of Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping

Mindy Weinstein Author Of The Power of Scarcity: Leveraging Urgency and Demand to Influence Customer Decisions

From my list on marketing mastery to better understand customers.

Who am I?

Simply put, I am a marketer (for over two decades). Yet, I am fascinated with the human brain. In my opinion, the two go together. To create powerful marketing messages, we must understand the mind of our customers. While working on my doctorate in general psychology, I was able to dive deep into consumer behavior and the psychological factors that drive us. All of my recommended books touch on psychology in some way or another and will teach you how to motivate your customers to take action.

Mindy's book list on marketing mastery to better understand customers

Mindy Weinstein Why did Mindy love this book?

I read this book on an airplane and was asked by the person next to me why I needed to learn about why I buy things. Well, this book is for anyone interested in understanding consumer behavior and the psychology of shopping. It’s an in-depth exploration of how shoppers interact with products and environments and provides valuable insights into how businesses can improve their sales and customer satisfaction. Underhill backs up his observations with a wealth of research and data. 

By Paco Underhill,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Why We Buy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Synopsis coming soon.......


Book cover of Brand Hijack: Marketing Without Marketing

Jason Falls Author Of Winfluence: Reframing Influencer Marketing to Ignite Your Brand

From my list on word of mouth marketing.

Who am I?

Jason Falls is an award-winning marketing strategist, author of three books, and host of two marketing-related podcasts. He has been listed as one of the most influential voices in the world of social media and influencer marketing.

Jason's book list on word of mouth marketing

Jason Falls Why did Jason love this book?

This was the book that inspired me to switch careers. Wipperfürth details the rise of brands like Doc Martens, Napster and Pabst Blue Ribbon, all of which were WOM success stories. But he did so before the practice of word-of-mouth was openly practiced and promoted by agencies and consultants around the world. Still, you can see the brilliance behind the power of turning your brand over to your customers and how engineering that can happen.

By Alex Wipperfürth,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Brand Hijack as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A guide to successful branding without typical marketing practices introduces the concept of consumer-driven, or word-of-mouth, branding, in a practical guide that addresses such challenges as media saturation, consumer evolution, and the erosion of image marketing. 50,000 first printing.