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Use Science to Understand Why People Buy

What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You explains the neuroscience of consumer behavior. Learn exactly why people buy and how to use that knowledge to improve pricing, increase sales, create better “brain-friendly” brand messaging, and be a more effective leader.

If you like marketing and business looks like Nudge by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely, or This is Marketing by Seth Godin, you’ll love What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You.

"The most important business book to come out in years."

- Michael F. Schein, author and columnist for Forbes, Inc, and Psychology Today

Behavioral economics is the future of brands and business.

What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You goes beyond an academic understanding of behavioral economics and into practical applications. Learn how real businesses and business professionals can use science to make their companies better. In this book, business owner, consultant, and behavioral economics expert Melina Palmer helps leaders like you use the psychology of the consumer, innovation, and truly impactful branding to achieve real, bottom-line benefits.

Bulk discounts available for as little as 10 books – click here to learn more 👈

“What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You is a fascinating book on human behavior and economics. This thorough guidebook will shape the way you do business and force you to rethink your current strategies. Included are practical exercises to help you move your current management mess to leadership and business success. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand their clientele and what makes them tick.”
Scott J. Miller
J. Miller, bestselling author and host of the #1 leadership podcast, On Leadership with Scott Miller
“Like Melina’s podcast, What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You sparkles with snappy ideas that unearth truths about human behavior with cool ideas and practical tips. It stands on the shoulders of her podcast guests and researchers who shared great ideas, but, more importantly, Melina serves them up in ways that are down-to-earth and easy to put into practice. It’s a must-read!”
Tim Houlihan
chief behavioral strategist at Behavioral Alchemy and cohost of the award-winning Behavioral Grooves podcast
“What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You is a great guide to the customer's mind. Written for the savvy businessperson, the book delves into behavioral economics with an entry-level, yet accessible approach, that will not only enlighten, but also entertain.”
Nir Eyal
Nir Eyal, bestselling author of Hooked and Indistractable
“This book is an incredible, step-by-step guide for people in the business world who want to deepen their understanding of behavioral economics to give themselves a competitive edge in the market. I highly recommend Melina as a go-to expert in the field and this book is a leading resource for me as I seek to deepen my knowledge in the field.”
Kwame Christian
director of the American Negotiation Institute, bestselling author, attorney, speaker, and host of the #1 negotiation podcast, Negotiation Anything
“What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You hands you the key to the secret world of behavioural science, in its comprehensive yet approachable review of the research and how to use it. ”
Patrick Fagan
chief scientific officer of Capuchin Behavioural Science and author of Hooked
“Practical advice and engaging exercises to help you start applying behavioral science in your business right away.”
Aline Holzwarth
head of Behavioral Science at Pattern Health and principal at Duke University's Center for Advanced Hindsight

Discover information and tools you can actually use to influence consumers.

Go beyond data science for business and apply behavioral economics. Learn how the consumer brain works. Become a better leader and creatively and effectively market your brand by understanding the true needs of your customers.

Dramatically improve your effectiveness as a leader and marketer with the practical tools in this book, including:

  • Real-world examples that bring a concept to life and make it stick
  • Ideas to help you with problem solving for your business
  • Ways to hack your brain into coming up with innovative programs, products, and initiatives
“Building on the success of her podcast, Palmer has crafted a thoughtful, approachable book for anyone looking to take their first foray into the world of applied behavioral science and how it can be applied to practical business problems.”
Matt Wallaert
behavioral scientist and author of Start at the End: How to Build Products that Create Change
“An engaging and thoughtful read packed with tons of concrete examples, this book is a valuable resource for anyone seeking to understand the principles of behavioral science and apply them in their work and lives.”
Bec Weeks
founder of Pique
“What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You is a superb, easy-to-read exposé of how to apply key behavioural principles. Told in a very compelling way with an authentic style, it is a terrific guide for marketers and industry practitioners the world over. Anyone in business would benefit from the insights in this book.”
Nuala Walsh
founder of MINDEQUITY, vice-chair of UNWomen UK, and cofounding member of the Global Association of Applied Behavioural Scientists
“With this book, Melina will challenge the way you think about your personal and business decisions and the real ‘whys’ driving your customers’ choices. Don’t ‘over-think’ this decision to dig in and learn.”
Will Leach
CEO of Mindstate Group and author of Marketing to Mindstates
“Any business needs to understand human behavior―and therefore how people think―to succeed. Melina Palmer’s brilliant book brings to life the latest science explaining why we do what we do using engaging and relatable examples and gives you immediately practical advice and tips on how to apply it for your business. Read it so you―and your business―can benefit.”
Richard Chataway
author of The Behaviour Business and CEO of BVA Nudge Unit UK
“What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You is packed full of practical insights and real-world case studies and is fully supported with academic references. A book to devour if you want to get your teeth into the application of behavioural economics.”
Jez Groom
founder and CEO of Cowry Consulting and coauthor of Ripple: The BIG Effects of Small Behaviour Changes in Business

about the author

Melina Palmer is founder and CEO of The Brainy Business, which provides behavioral economics consulting to businesses of all sizes from around the world. Her podcast, The Brainy Business, has downloads in over 160 countries. Melina worked in corporate marketing and brand strategy for over a decade before earning her master’s in behavioral economics. She has contributed research to the Association for Consumer Research, Filene Research Institute, and runs the Behavioral Economics & Business column for Inc Magazine. Her first book, What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You, launches May 2021.

“The book every businessperson should read! It’s packed full of thoughtful information and laid out in a way that is easy to absorb. It will make you think and act differently as well as approach your business in a whole new way. It will make you laugh, gasp, and ponder. It’s absolutely brilliant.”
Nikki Rausch
CEO of Sales Maven, neurolinguistic programming expert, podcast host, and author of Buying Signals and The Selling Staircase
“What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You is a stand-out guide for anyone fascinated by customer behaviour and the science of decision-making. Melina is an invaluable voice in the field, with a unique take on behavioural economics and its application for marketers. What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You is accessible in its delivery and robust in its evidence-base for enthusiasts and practitioners alike, providing clear examples and memorable insight―a smart balance of breadth and depth.”
Madeline Quinlan
cofounder of Salient Behavioural Consultants and head of membership for the Global Association of Applied Behavioural Scientists
“Einstein said, ‘Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.’ What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You does just that as Melina Palmer takes a tremendous amount of research from behavioral economics and social psychology and shares it in ways anyone can understand. And she does so without losing the nuances you need to know if you want to get it right. Most importantly, Melina gives real world application and additional references for readers who want to dive deeper into the topic. This book, and her Brainy Business podcast, are resources you don't want to overlook if you want to become more persuasive.”
Brian Ahearn
author Influence PEOPLE
“In What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You, Melina lifts up the curtain to help us understand what customers often don't understand themselves―how they make decisions. This brilliant book is a wealth of knowledge, arming practitioners with actionable insights to help understand how customers decide.”
Nate Andorsky
CEO of Creative Science and author of Decoding the Why: How Behavioral Science Is Driving the Next Generation of Product Design
“You trust your gut, right? Well, so did many other business leaders, just before their gut reactions led them to make decisions that brought down great companies and high-flying careers. Melina Palmer’s book, relying on the latest research in behavioral economics, shows you how to avoid the dangerous judgment errors called cognitive biases that brought down previously-successful leaders. Palmer is an excellent science and business communicator and provides clear and business-relevant explanations of what you need to know to use behavioral economics insights to protect your company and career.”
Dr. Gleb Tsipursky
behavioral scientist, CEO of Disaster Avoidance Experts and bestselling author of Never Go With Your Gut and The Blindspots Between Us
“From the hardest working podcaster in the field of behavioural science, What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You is a must-read packed with useful case studies and practical advice for brands and organisations alike.”
Dr. Benny Cheung
director at Dectech

What do you get when you work with The Brainy Business?

There are hundreds of concepts your customer’s subconscious brain uses to make thousands of decisions every day. Over years of work, we’ve learned there are some common ones that are central to any business project. And while no two projects are the same, we often follow a similar process when working with clients from any size or genre.

STEP 1: This is the most important (and where most businesses go wrong)…understanding the true problem.
STEP 2: Dig in on existing research as we develop a study or project plan.
STEP 3: Test and implement!
STEP 4: Analyze results to determine how to continue to improve in the future.

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