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Decoded: The Science Behind Why We Buy


CAD $29.99

Decoded: The Science Behind Why We Buy

Phil P. Barden

ISBN: 978-1-118-34559-7 January 2013 280 Pages

CAD $29.99
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“When Phil first introduced me to this new and important understanding it crystallised my fears that the long-standing approach to marketing needed to be fundamentally re-evaluated. In his book, he not only persuasively and cogently argues his case but also shows how we need to think in new ways to maximise our marketing efficiency and effectiveness”
Sean Gogarty, Senior Vice President, Household Care, Unilever

“A perfect mixture of deep ideas from visual and decision neuroscience,
and clear pictures of why those ideas matter for marketing”
Colin Camerer, Robert Kirby Professor of Behavioral Economics, Caltech

“Over the last 10 years, there have been many attempts by marketers and
their advisors to make sense of the explosion of learnings from cognitive neuroscience. But none is more useful than this: not only is the science explained clearly and precisely but the implications for marketers are made practical and understandable. Decoded is a must-read. Bravo!”
Mark Earls, Author of Herd and I’ll Have What She’s Having

“At last a book that unlocks the mystery of brand equity written by a man who’s worked at the Marketing coal face for over 25 years. Decoded should be compulsory reading for all brand owners. We know, as one of Phil’s clients, that his approach is grounded in the reality of managing brands - and it works!”
Chris Barrow, General Manager Marketing, BT pl c

“Phil has a way of marrying the art and the science which makes it cutting edge but practical, distinctive but simple; in short any commercial marketer cannot afford to miss this book – it will change the way you approach things forever”
Lysa Hardy, CMO NBTY Europe

“With Decoded Barden gives the power of advertising empirical foundation.
A must for agency planners and creatives alike”
Margaret Johnson, Group CEO , Leagas Delaney

“I found this book a real page-turner. Phil Barden has the rare knack of turning scientific experiments and marketing examples into a fascinating story of how human beings really work”
Wendy Gordon, Founding Partner, Acacia Av enue


  • reveals the latest science behind why consumers buy what they buy
  • guides the reader pragmatically through the fascinating insights of decision science and the opportunities they provide for more effective marketing
  • clearly demonstrates, through its case studies, the concrete applications of this new understanding to every day marketing

“This is a very good book that does three difficult things: it pulls together a lot of recent academic evidence on consumer behaviour from both neuroscience and behavioural economics; it consistently relates this evidence to practical marketing issues, illustrated with real-world examples; it is extremely readable. I recommend it to all marketers with more than an ounce of intellectual curiosity - and even to those with none, if they don’t want to get left behind by these developments”
Patrick Barwise, Emeritus Professor at London Business School, Chairmanof Which? and co-author of Simply Better and Beyond the Familiar

“Our implicit motivations drive most of  our decisions and actions every day. Phil Barden understands this, explains it, and clearly demonstrates how to use this new understanding to the benefit of more effective, action driven, marketing”
Phil Chapman, Vice President Chocolate Category, Mondelez

“The first practical application of Kahneman’s Nobel Prize-winning work to everyday marketing - brilliant!”
Paul Fishlock, Founder of ad agency Behaviour Change Partners

Foreword ix

Preface xiii

1. Decision Science: Understanding the Why of Consumer Behaviour 1

2. The Moment of Truth: Decoding Purchase Decisions 37

3. Decoding the Interface: How the Autopilot Perceives Touchpoints 67

4. Optimizing the Path to Purchase: The Decision Interface Makes the Difference 119

5. Goals: The Driving Forces of Purchase Decisions 159

6. From Positioning to Touchpoints: Bringing Value to Life 203

Closing Remarks 255

Acknowledgements 257

Recommended Reading 259

Index 269

‘…he sets out to build the most comprehensive bridge yet between decision science and the day-to-day business of marketing….‘Decoded’ shows understanding behaviour is not the enemy of creativity but a springboard to it. Creatives more than anyone need to embrace it – not make it planning or research’s responsibility or assume a new video on YouTube renders the hardwiring of our brains irrelevant. Advertising will never be a science but it’s more science than most working in it realise’  (25th January 2013,