Thursday, July 16, 2009

Five best studies of consumer culture

Paco Underhill is CEO of Envirosell Inc. and the author of Why We Buy and Call of the Mall.

In 2006 he named a five best list of studies of consumer culture for the Wall Street Journal. One title on the list:
"FutureShop" by Daniel Nissanoff (Penguin, 2006).

I was not prepared to like "Futureshop" by Daniel Nissanoff. Books about e-commerce tend to be like uninspired sex: a convenient shortcut to a nap. But this one is like the jolt of a double espresso. Who knew that secondary markets could be so interesting? In Daniel's view, eBay is creating an "auction culture" that is transforming the way we shop on- and offline. After all, when a used car is transformed into a "preowned" Lexus, secondhand status has lost all its stigma. Lee Scott, the CEO of Wal-Mart, is quoted as having no concerns about the threat of Target, but eBay keeps him up at night.
Read about the other four books on Underhill's list.

--Marshal Zeringue