One of our newest clients at Argentum is a super sharp life-long learner. As the co-founder of a business that is breaking ground in a brand new category (and kicking butt), and she’s interested in understanding more about consumers and human nature in general. So I put together some resources to help her.
In addition to being a skilled “observer of humans,” one of the key tools I use to help my clients think smarter about their customers, there are four books that have helped me in my own efforts to better understand human behavior.
1. Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
This book provides a fascinating glimpse into the way habits influence human behavior. You can read my earlier blog post about the book, which includes links to an excerpt from the book as well as a link to an NPR interview with the author.
2. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Heath & Heath
If you want to understand how to make your brand stickier and maybe even generate better Word-of-Mouth, this book is for you! When I was working with Procter & Gamble’s Tremor/Vocalpoint group to develop strategic consumer insights to drive Word-of-Mouth, they strongly recommended that I read this book.
I prefer it to Macolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point because in addition to interesting anecdotes, it includes actionable steps to help make your brand message shareable.
3. Switch: How to Change When Change is Hard by Heath & Heath
This book was a great follow-up to the Heath brothers’ Made to Stick. Reading it helped me, both in business and personally, to better understand why it’s so hard for people to change! The book also teaches the best ways to go about making change happen. I wrote a blog post about this book, too, and the it includes a link to an excerpt.
4. Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger
While Made to Stick is my go-to Word-of-Mouth book, Contagious is also interesting if you’re looking to learn more. Inc. magazine published this excerpt when the book first came out.
Bonus Round: Talking to Humans: Success Starts With Understanding Customers by Giff Constable
This book is next up on my list of business books to read. It comes highly recommended from my colleagues in the Polsky Entrepreneurial Center at University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.