January 23, 2011

Reading on my way back from Jakarta

I just got back this morning from a week in Jakarta at a global marketing meeting. On one of the afternoons, we went on a trade visit. It's always fascinating to visit stores in a different market than your own. Just observing how the trade is organized, listening to a local salesperson and just observing consumer dynamics is one of those experiences that you always learn from.

Not surprisingly, the traditional trade in Jakarta is very similar to what we find throughout Latin America. Small mom & pop stores with extremely limited space, many products being sold in single-serve sachets. In our case, the importance of securing space on the counter making our brands as accessible as possible, avoiding people having to ask for your products.

It was a long trip flying back to São Paulo, so I used the time on flights to read Buyology - Truth and Lies About Why We Buy - by Martin Lindstrom. When the book first came out, I was a little skeptical. I decided I needed to read the book to form an opinion about the intersection between neuroscience and marketing. A rather intriguing and controversial subject. The author carried out extensive research using brains scans to try and find patterns on what actually triggers people to make purchasing decisions.

I particularly enjoyed chapter 5 on the power of rituals, where we cites examples like Oreo's classic 'twist, lick & dunk', Corona with lime and Guinness' phenomenal 'good things come for those who wait' strategy.

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