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Herd: How to Change Mass Behaviour by…
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Herd: How to Change Mass Behaviour by Harnessing Our True Nature

by Mark Earls

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I never thought I'd enjoy a book written by someone from an advertising background. And, to be honest, I probably wouldn't have read the book but for the fact I met Mark Earls in a pub, and he seemed like a nice bloke...! Whereas a lot of the current crop of new media business books are content to surf the zeitgeist by referencing each other and ignoring perspectives from outside their 'bubble', Herd tackles questions of how behaviour spreads with real intellectual seriousness. As someone with two degrees and a professional qualification in psychology, I learnt a good deal of new stuff about psychology, and I could tell (based on what I already knew) that Earls is not bluffing or hand-waving, but has fully grasped an emerging way of thinking about how people influence each other. More than that, he's tackling the implications of this for his own and other business sectors. And more than that, he's doing so with a wily eye for fakers and even a moral purpose (yes, in advertising). He's very good at writing about passion and authenticity in business communications. So why only four and a half stars? (A) because I'm stingy (B) because the book ends with a bit of a whimper -- it could have done with something stronger to live up to what went before. ( )
  djalchemi | Sep 6, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0470060360, Hardcover)

Can you explain the explosion of social activities like text messaging with little or no promotion of the behaviour? How a Mexican wave happens? The emergence of online communities? Or – more sensitively – the steady rise of floral roadside tributes to traffic accident victims from complete strangers? Unless you have a good explanation of mass behaviour, you’ll have little chance of altering it.

Herd reveals that most of us in the West have completely misunderstood the mechanics of mass behaviour because we have misplaced notions of what it means to be a human being. With a host of examples from Peter Kay and urinal etiquette to Apple and Desmond Tutu, Mark Earls offers the most new radical, controversial and significant new theory of consumer behaviour in a generation.

"At one level a profoundly simple and important idea, that just happens to overturn everything we thought we knew about marketing to the individual."
—Adam Morgan, Founder, Eatbigfish

"Mark Earls helps us see clearly that we need to re-write the rules and provides us with a playbook for doing so. Are you ready for the ‘we’ revolution?"
—Ed Keller, CEO, The Keller Fay Group

"Herd is a dazzling, nutrient-rich read that urged me to see afresh the big underlying forces driving media behaviour and why they especially matter now."
—David Abraham, EVP, The Learning Channel

"As important to read as Malcolm Gladwell and Adam Morgan were. I cannot recommend it highly enough unless you are a luddite or an ostrich."
—Mark Sherrington, Global Brands Director, SABMiller

"Read this book. Think about it. If you’re going to be any good at your job in the next 20 years then you need to questions your assumptions about how stuff works."
—Russell Davies, Founder, Open Intelligence Agency

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:14 -0400)

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