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Brands and the Psyche

  • Arthur Asa Berger
Chapter

Abstract

Freud’s ideas are useful in understanding how brands work and I discuss his theory about the different levels of the psyche and the importance of the unconscious, that part of the psyche to which we do not have access. I also discuss the work of Gerald Zaltman, who also deals with the unconscious, and Ernest Dichter, the father of motivation research. Freud’s ideas about the id, ego, and superego are also used to help understand the role brands play in our psyches and our lives. I offer a discussion of the difference between two kinds of consumers: maximizers and satisfizers. I also deal with cult brands, like Apple and Harley-Davidson. I also offer an example of what I call a “myth model” and use it to explain how myths may play a role in our decisions to purchase this or that brand of an object.

Keywords

Psyche Unconscious Id Ego Superego Cults Myth 

References

  1. Brenner, Charles. (1974). An Elementary Textbook of Psychoanalysis: Revised and Expanded Edition. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  2. Eisenberg, Lee. (2009). Shoptimism: Why the American Consumer Will Keep on Buying No Matter What. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  3. Forbes, David. (2015). The Science of Why: Decoding Human Motivation and Transforming Marketing Strategy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  4. Hinsie, L.E. and R.J. Campbell. (1970). Psychiatric Dictionary. New York: Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
  5. Patai, Raphael. (1972). Myths and Modern Man. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  6. Zaltman, Gerald. (2003). How Customer’s Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  7. Dichter, Ernest. (1960). The Strategy of Desire. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arthur Asa Berger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Broadcast and Electronic Communication ArtsSan Francisco State UniversitySan FranciscoUSA

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