Useful Insight From “Why We Buy”

Photo credit: mastermaq on Flickr.Recently, I finished reading “Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping—Updated and Revised for the Internet, the Global Consumer, and Beyond,” (affiliate link) by Paco Underhill.

In my review of the book on and other various websites, I mention that the book is “one of the most informative and entertaining business books that I have read recently.”

And, I really mean it.

Almost every other page has some insight that makes you think: “that’s interesting” or “that’s good to know.”

It’s definitely one of those books that will inspire many future blog posts.

In fact, if you read my last blog post, titled “The Business Decision: Unintended Consequences,” you will remember that I have already cited this book to point out that every business decision that you make has an effect on other areas of your business and, in the end, influences your bottom line.

As Underhill points out in the book, the decisions that consumers make each day can also have an effect on your bottom line in more ways than a person might think.

All Other Businesses Are Your Competition

When you make a business decision, you are deciding how you will use your business’s finite resources.

The concept of competing for finite resources can also be applied to our personal lives, as well.

As Underhill points out, “It is dangerously narrow-minded for a store owner to believe that the only competition is from others in his or her category. In truth, retailers compete with every other demand on consumer time and money. Recently we’ve been hired to study patrons in movie theaters, which just reminds us that two hours and $20 spent in a cinema are forever lost to the rest of retailing. Likewise, if the experience of spending twenty minutes of unused lunch hour browsing in a computer store is more enjoyable than visiting a bookstore, then it becomes likely that some software will be sold—and impossible that a book will be.”

I think that paragraph alone could change the way some businesses approach their marketing decisions.

In fact, it could completely alter the way some businesses approach every business decision that they make.

It also makes you think about how everything we as humans do each day has an impact on other areas of our lives and the lives of the people who we interact with (and the people who they interact with, etc.)


This is just one of the things that Paco Underhill points out in this book that I found very interesting.

In the future, I plan to explore the concept further.

For now, I just wanted to use it to illustrate why I reviewed the book the way that I did.

As I said in my review, I would recommend the book to anyone.

Photo credit: mastermaq on Flickr.

Chad Thiele

Chad Thiele

Marketing analyst and strategist, content curator, applied sociologist, proud UW-Madison alumnus, and an Auburn-trained mobile marketer. My goal is to help businesses identify trends that will help them achieve their marketing objectives and business goals. I'm currently looking for my next career challenge. Please feel free to contact me anytime at: