I understand what Graves is saying, and I'll give him the self justification themes, but I am having a hard time thinking that customers do not 'participate' more in their buying habits than Graves suggests.
I realize that this is somewhat of a tease for his book - good for him, by the way - but conceptually the idea that consumers are robots most of the time doesn't wash with my view of people. Certainly, we all have products or parts of our consumer behavior where this is true, but most of the time we are very self centered and plugged into our purchases.
Consumers are sophisticated and smart. Upon further review, the connection to Gladwell is only superficial. Beyond my initial reaction to the similarity of the topics, I am not sure they have much more in common beyond that. Sorry about that Malcolm!