The latest issue of CMO Magazine has a great book excerpt from All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin. The premise of Mr. Godin’s book is that marketers don’t sell a product or service, they sell a story. What matters is what the consumer believes, not if it’s factual or not. He goes on to say that Marketers profit because consumers buy what they want, not what they need. You tell the consumer a story, and the consumer buys the story, not the product.
He gives an example of how a young lady purchases a pair of high end Puma shoes for $125. She didn’t care about support or the durability of the uppers. She was imagining how she’d look when she put them on and how her appearance would dramatically improve her life once other people saw how cool she was. The way Stephanie felt when she bought the Pumas was the product. Not the sneakers made for $3 in China.
He ends by saying that marketers have great power, but that doesn’t mean we have to lie to successfully sell products. He claims a story that works, combined with authenticity builds a brand and a business for the ages.
Best line from the book: Average people are good at ignoring you. Average people have too many different points of view about life, and average people are by and large satisfied. If you need to water down your story to appeal to everyone, it will appeal to no one.