Buyology for a Coronavirus World

A new chapter of Buyology is now available from Martin Lindstrom. Foreword by Stuart Crainer, co-founder of Thinkers50, is below.

Undercover Boss is a popular TV series. The format is simple: a boss is disguised and sent to work at the frontline of the organization. The results are predictable and predictably entertaining.

In one show, the CEO of a chain of night clubs was dispatched to work at a selection of his clubs. He was surprised to find that young people drank themselves into a stupor or ER. He was even more surprised to find that the toilets at the night clubs weren’t very pleasant at the end of a long evening. Along the way, as his eyes were opened to the reality of his business, the CEO met some of the exceptional people working for the company — cleaners, managers who do virtually everything, young marketers getting people through the doors.

Week after week, executives encounter the reality of their businesses and are surprised. This begs an obvious question: why don’t they know what goes on in their business? Perhaps it is a lack of curiosity. Perhaps they are trapped in some sort of corporate comfort zone. Perhaps it is a lack of imagination, a failure to link the decision to sell shots in a night club for less than a dollar each and rampant drunkenness.

Whatever the reasons, it is inexcusable for executives not to understand the day-to-day reality of their business. Indeed, the most impressive and successful business leaders have an intimate understanding of the minutiae of their business. They also know that any organization relies on people doing fantastic things and going beyond the call of duty.

These lessons have been brought home to us during the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020. The heroes do not sit in corner offices on the 57th floor, they mop the floors. The heroes are different from those figures who are routinely lauded, applauded and very generously rewarded.

The heroes are people. Ordinary, but extraordinary, people.

None of this is news to Martin Lindstrom. He has been putting executives in touch with their customers for years. He has been reminding executives and organizations that the people they employ and sell to are human for the same length of time.

Martin is a fixture in our ranking of business thinkers, the Thinkers50, because he combines data, research and analysis with humanity. We have long believed that there is nothing so practical as a great idea and that management is actually a simple activity — so long as you don’t forget the fundamentals of treating people with respect and listening to them.

Martin’s track record of waking up organizations to the needs of their customers and of enabling them to think differently about the world is extensive and impressive. His work changes things.

I loved Buyology when it first appeared. It remains the best title ever for a business book! But, it was Small Data which really make me a fan. It was the obsessive attention to detail, the visits to nearly 2000 consumer homes across 77 countries, the nitty gritty of human behavior, what people want, what people need, what people aspire to.

Buyology for a Coronavirus World makes sense of the new world order with the trademark Lindstrom attention to human detail and persuasive data. It needs to be read. Now.



Based on more than 2,000 brainscans of subjects in six countries, Buyology was the first book ever to apply neuroscience to the world of business.

Now, 12 years after Buyology’s publication, Martin Lindstrom releases an exclusive pocketbook, Buyology for a Coronavirus World, on the human impact of coronavirus. With fascinating insights from his neuroscience work, he explores how businesses should navigate the opportunities and pitfalls of this newly transformed landscape.

  • Learn how a leading car brand’s unusual consumer insight generated double-digit sales during 2008’s financial crisis.
  • Discover which categories and brands are likely to thrive like never before in the upcoming post-pandemic world.
  • Understand why lack of touch during isolation, more than any other factor, is likely to change consumer behavior.

Martin Lindstrom takes the reader on a fascinating ride, combining science with business. His visionary mindset helps you prepare for our post-pandemic world.

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