22 Unchange Laws of Marketing
Rule 4. The Law of Perception
Marketing is not a product war.
It is a battle of perceptions.
Many people think of marketing as a war of products.
In the long run,
they envision the best product to win.
Marketers’ minds have been pre-flooded with research and fact-gathering work.
They analyze so that the truth is on their side,
then confidently declare in the marketing arena that
they have the best product and claim the best product wins.
That is an illusion.
There is no objective reality.
There are no events.
There are no best products.
All that exists in the world of marketing are perceptions in the customer’s mind.
Only perception is reality
and everything else is an illusion.
All truths are relative.
Relative to your mind or the mind of others.
When you say,
“I am right and the other person is wrong”,
you are actually saying that
you are more perceptive than someone else.
Most people think that they perceive themselves better than others.
They have a sense of a subjective perfection.
Their perception is always more accurate than
that of a neighbor or friend.
Truth and perception become fused in the mind,
there is no difference
between the two.
That’s hard to see.
Confronted with the negative reality of loneliness in the universe,
people separate themselves from the world.
They “live” in an arena of books,
They “belong” to clubs,
The outside picture of the world seems more real than the reality inside their mind.
One clings to the belief that reality is the outer world of the mind
and that the individual is a speck of dust in the universe.
Reality is the opposite.
There is only one reality you can be certain of,
and that is your own perception.
If the universe exists,
it exists within your own mind and the minds of others.
That is the reality that marketing programs must confront.
There may be oceans,
cities and houses there,
but there is no way to tell us about these things except
through our own perception.
Marketing is a manipulation of these perceptions.
Most marketing mistakes stem from the assumption that
you’re fighting a product battle.
All of the rules in this book draw from the opposite point of view.
Some marketers examine the natural laws of marketing based on a false argument:
the product is the heart of the marketing program
and then you will win
or lose based on the product.
That is why the natural marketing of some products
(once considered reasonable) is always wrong.
Only by studying how perceptions are formed in the mind
and aligning your marketing programs
with these perceptions can you overcome the fundamental errors of marketing instinct.
Each of us
(manufacturer, distributor, agent, customer…)
sees the world through a pair of eyes.
If there is an objective truth there,
how do we know?
Who will tell us?
It could only have been someone else seeing the same scene
through a different set of eyes.
The truth is nothing more than the perception of an expert.
And who is the expert?
These are people who are recognized as experts by others.
If truth is such an illusion
why is there so much controversy in marketing so-called facts?
Why are so many marketing decisions based on comparing facts?
Why so many marketers take the truth on their side,
that it’s their job to use the truth
as a weapon to correct the mistakes that
It already exist in the minds of their customers.
Marketers believe in facts
because they believe in objective reality.
It’s also easy for marketers to assume the truth is on their side.
If you think you need the best product to win the marketing battle,
it’s easy to believe you have the best product.
All it takes is a small modification of your own perception.
Changing the customer’s mind is another matter.
The mind of the customer is difficult to change.
With a little experience in a product category,
consumers assume they are right.
A perception that exists in the mind is often interpreted
as a general truth.
People think rarely,
they are wrong,
at least in their minds.
It is easy to see the power of product perception
when the products are separated.
Honda, and Nissan are the three biggest automakers entering the US market.
Most marketers assume that the battle
between the three brands is based on quality,
That’s not true.
What people think about Honda,
Toyota and Nissan cars determines which brand wins.
Marketing is a battle of perception.
Japanese automakers sell the same vehicles in the US
as well as in Japan.
If marketing is a war of products,
then the order of sales in the two countries must be the same,
because the same quality,
the same model,
the same capacity,
the same price,
the US and Japan must sell the same.
However, in Japan,
Honda cars are far from getting close to the leading car company.
Honda cars ranked third after Toyota and Nissan cars.
Toyota sells four times as many cars as Honda sells in Japan.
So what’s the difference
between Honda cars sold in Japan
and Honda cars sold in the US?
The product is the same,
but the perception in the mind of the customer is different.
If you tell your friends in New York that
you just bought a Honda,
they might ask you,
“What model did you buy?
Or a Prelude?”
But when you tell your friends in Tokyo that
you just bought a Honda,
Japanese friends will ask:
“What kind of motorcycle did you buy?”.
Honda comes to mind as a motorcycle manufacturer,
it seems most people don’t want to buy a car made
by a motorcycle manufacturer.
marketing A converse situation,
would Harley-Davidson succeed
if they launched a Harley-Davidson car?
You think maybe,
it depends on the car:
Even if you believe that Harley-Davidson has a reputation
for making good products,
the answer is still no.
People perceive Harley-Davidson
as a manufacturer of motorcycles,
which will reduce the value of Harley-Davidson cars no matter
how good the product is
(chapter 12: law of expansion).
Why is Campbell’s soup company #1 in the US
and not doing anything in the UK?
Why is Heinz soup topping the list in the UK
but failing miserably in the US?
Marketing is a battle of perception,
Marketing is the process of addressing these perceptions.
Many beverage traders believe that marketing is a war of taste.
Very well, New Coke is at the top in terms of taste
(Coca-Cola has tested it 200,000 times,
testing shows that New Coke tastes better than Pepsi-Cola
and Pepsi tastes better than the original Coca-Cola).
But who is winning this marketing war?
The drink that is considered to have the best taste in the experiment
It is New Coke which comes in third.
The third best drink in the experiment,
the original Coca-Cola,
came in at number one.
Believe in what you want to believe.
Taste what you want to taste.
Beverage marketing is a battle of perception,
not a battle of taste.
The battle is more difficult
when customers often decide to buy based on old perceptions.
Or instead of relying on their own judgment,
customers decide based on someone’s actual perception.
This is the principle of “everybody knows”.
Everyone knows that
Japanese cars have higher quality than American cars.
Thus, people decide to buy a car based on the fact that
everyone knows that Japanese cars are of higher quality.
When shoppers were asked
if they had their own experience with the product,
most people said no.
And if so,
their personal experience is also warped to fit their perception.
If you buy a bad Japanese car,
they consider you unlucky,
because everyone thinks Japanese cars are made with high quality.
On the contrary,
if you have a good American car,
you are considered lucky,
because everyone considers American cars to be inferior.
Everyone knows Audi cars have problems.
On November 23, 1986,
CBS news and television broadcast on the program “60 Minutes”
the story of “losing control,”
which drew attention to a number of consumer complaints
about the uncontrollable
increase in speed of Audi vehicles.
Audi sales in the United States dropped from 60,000 in 1986 to 12,000 in 1991.
But have you had any problems
with the uncontrolled acceleration of Audis? Almost no.
Every car expert can’t find this complaint problem.
However, awareness persists.
Audi has launched an ad to compare their car
with two similar vehicles of Mercedes Benz and BMW.
According to the ad,
German car experts have ranked Audi cars above both Mercedes and BMW.
Do you believe that?
Is that real?
Does not matter.
So marketing is not a product battle.
It is a battle of perception.