Title: Buying In
Author: Rob Walker
Publisher: Random House
Date Published: 2008
Comment: I am always a fan of free things, especially when they are useful or something I would have bought anyway. I was recently introduced to a blog called Murketing, which is run by author and New York Times Magazine columnist Rob walker. Rob's blog serves as an introduction and on-going observation of the ideas outlined in Buying In, which comes out in June. I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy at Likemind, which is a monthly gathering of strangers in different cities around the world, who meet up for coffee and conversation. I found out about Likemind through Murketing and decided to check it out. So I showed up at 8am at a coffee shop downtown and met a whole group of friendly people who met for no other reason than to have a cup of coffee and talk with other interested people. There is no agenda or schedule or mission to adhere to. Our discussions ranged from new blogs we'd found, the price of gas and where to store your bulk toilet paper from Costco when you live in a downtown condo. The diversity of age and professions kept the perspectives interesting and the conversations engaging. It was a great way to start a Friday morning and I look forward to future Likemind gatherings. However—to be honest—my initial reason for going was solely because Random House (Rob's publisher) was sponsoring this month's Likemind with free coffee and an advanced copy of the book. But you could say after attending that I've proudly bought in to Likemind.
I'm really excited about this book because it parallels this project of mine quite a bit. It focuses on consumerism and what makes us buy the things we do, and how that defines who we are. It dissects the new consumers who—like myself—consider themselves immune to marketing, but at the same time become evangelists for the brands they themselves embrace. This emerging market leads to the kind of unexpected and often unexplainable explosion in the popularity of brands ranging from Hello Kitty to Pabst Blue Ribbon (which I was a loyal consumer of in college). Read my review of this book on Amazon.