Summary of Selling Dreams

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  • Background
  • Concrete Examples
  • Engaging


Gian Luigi Longinotti-Buitoni’s premise is that the best way to sell products is to tap into customers’ emotional impulses, which can override their rational thinking. It’s a good theory, as proven by how effectively the CEO of Ferrari North America used it in writing this book. As a reader, you can’t help but get swept up in the pages of description of wondrous products from the likes of Ferrari, Tiffany, the Ritz and Cohiba. And when you do, it’s easy to overlook the fact that the book is slightly repetitive and presents ideas that are far from radical. However, Longinotti-Buitoni’s anecdotes about the development of the Ferrari brand name, as well as those of other high-end companies, are sure to delight marketing and advertising practitioners. recommends this book to professionals in those fields, who will find useful insights, especially in the excellent summaries that come toward the end of each chapter. A clear introduction and a well-executed concluding chapter also help clarify the ideas. There is probably more passion than substance to Selling Dreams, but in the end, isn’t that what it’s all about?

About the Author

Gian Luigi Longinotti-Buitoni  is the president and CEO of Ferrari North America.



Shaping Dreams

To please the new breed of customer, you must trigger their emotional impulses, which override their rational thinking. Companies must sell products and services that appeal to the dreams of their customers. You cannot rely on market analysis, consumer studies or product clinics alone. You need to be able to interpret the spirit of our time.

The Volkswagen Beetle is an excellent example of a product that succeeded because it appealed to the spirit of the times. Introduced during the "flower-power" generation, the Beetle capitalized on society’s love of the underdog. The Sony Walkman was successful because it appealed to baby-boomers’ desire for freedom and independence.

The idea of interpreting the spirit of our time may seem like a job better suited to artists and writers. In reality, a company should have an advantage over any individual artist or writer. While most artists and writers work alone, companies can draw on a vast range of collaborators to produce creative ideas. In addition, while companies are concerned only with creating wealth, writers and artists must wrestle with complex spiritual and cultural motivations. Influencing a customer...

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