Top critical review
Could have been great, but it's too superficial
Reviewed in the United States on August 31, 2019
There's a lot to be said for the premise of this book: if brands design their products (and their marketing, documentation, etc.) with the goal of helping their users, a lot of their marketing will take care of itself. To use one of the examples regularly mentioned in the book, if you make cameras, you should design your product and documentation specifically to help your users be better photographers, and the word of mouth marketing they'll generate will make a better showing in your sales figures than a major media buy. The thesis is mostly pretty sound, and reasonably well-documented with reference to other business or pop psychology books.
However, if you're looking for a deep dive into business psychology, this is not the book for you. In fact, though its premise is solid, its presentation leaves a lot to be desired. Instead of a full-length book, the reader is treated to little snippets of text interspersed with stock photography images. While this makes for a fast and easy read, it doesn't offer a lot of (or any) resources for the reader looking for a well-documented survey of the psychological literature, or even the business literature. Though it's priced as a book, this is essentially a PowerPoint presentation set down in print.
Indeed, some of the pop psychology referenced throughout the book is actually fairly questionable. A brief section on "power posing" provides the quintessential example. Yes, there was some research that certain postures can have positive psychological effects. Later research has called it into question. This book cites the former (or rather, cites the TED Talk describing the former) without any reference at all to the latter. Does this mean the book is wrong? Certainly not. But it does mean that its conclusions should at least be treated with some skepticism since it's not always clear where the book's ideas came from.
However, while particular psychological aspects of the book may be suspect, and the treatment of the entire topic has to be considered superficial at best, the fundamental premise still strikes me as a solid one, and one not enough people are thinking about in the terms suggested by the author. I would recommend it for that reason alone, except its cover price of $34.99 (for what fundamentally amounts to a printed slideshow whose length would probably be a couple of hours) raises some issues of value for money. Buy it when it's on sale and knowing what you're getting, and you probably won't be disappointed.