Absolute Value: What Really Influences Customers in the Age of (Nearly) Perfect Information

book cover for Absolute Value

Absolute Value: What Really Influences Customers in the Age of (Nearly) Perfect Information

By Itamar Simonson, Emanuel Rosen
Harper Business, New York, 2014

Going against conventional wisdom, Absolute Value reveals what really influences customers today and offers a new framework — the Influence Mix, a new way of thinking about consumer decision-making, which should help managers develop more effective marketing strategies.

How people buy things has changed profoundly — yet the fundamental thinking about consumer decision making and marketing has not. Most marketers still believe that they can shape consumers’ perception and drive their behavior. In this provocative book, Stanford professor Itamar Simonson and bestselling author Emanuel Rosen show why current mantras about branding and loyalty are losing their relevance. When consumers base their decisions on reviews from other users, easily accessed expert opinions, price comparison apps, and other emerging technologies, everything changes. Counter to what we frequently hear, consumers will (on average) make better choices and act more rationally.

Absolute Value answers the pressing questions of what influences customers in this new age. Simonson and Rosen identify the old-school marketing concepts that need to change and explain how a company should design its communication strategy, market research program, and segmentation strategy in the new environment. Filled with deep analysis, case studies, and cutting-edge research, this forward-looking book provides a new way of thinking about marketing.

Selected Editorial Reviews
Absolute Value brilliantly describes a world which threatens to disrupt conventional ideas about branding and marketing. Companies that seek only to persuade will be replaced by those that truly seek to serve the real needs of the customer.
Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO
... the most important book I've read in the past five years. [...] Absolute Value is in the same class as The Innovator's Dilemma and Crossing the Chasm.
Guy Kawasaki, Author