Review: The Choice Factory

The Choice Factory: 25 Behavioural Biases That Influence What We Buy

The Choice Factory: 25 Behavioural Biases That Influence What We Buy by Richard Shotton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fascinating, well written, and super-practical: Shotton walks us through a series of cognitive and behavioural biases that leave us in no doubt that we are not the rational beings we like to think we are. It presents rigorous science and evidence lightly, with an accessible style – I particularly liked the device of the ‘everyday in the life of the reader’ story that introduces each chapter, showing how the bias in question plays out in familiar contexts.
It’s written for marketeers and advertisers with a strong focus on applicability – so strong that it almost tips into cynicism at times, but it’s rescued by Shotton’s cheerful and practical style. His examples are fascinating – and drawn not only from research but from his own extensive practice in the field: in explaining the Veblen goods effect, for example, he tells how he and a colleague doubled the price of a perfume bottle from £40 to £80 and watched the sample ratings for the exact same perfume skyrocket.
Behavioural science is one of the most exciting areas of business writing, and this is one of the rare books that makes it not only accessible but usable.
A worthy winner of the Business Book Awards Sales and Marketing Book 2019.

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