Trust Me. I’m In Marketing.

Trust isn’t what it used to be, because there isn’t much left. A report by Richard Edelman surveys people from countries around the globe to see who they trusted or not. Trust in government is low, but then again no sane person really trusts that much concentrated power. Trust in the media has plummeted as alleged journalists have removed their masks to expose their unmade partisan and ideological faces. Only businesses and NGOs (non-governmental organizations) score above the 50% mark, and they do so with no margin for error. Who the heck is this Trust fellow? All relationships are built on trust. If you don’t believe that, go buy a candy bar and think about the layers of trust incorporated in a simple purchase. You trust the maker of the candy bar not to poison you, which means you trust their trust in agricultural and chemical suppliers. You trust the … Continue reading

Perception is Reality

“Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality.” — Jules de Gaultier Marketers deal in perception. Great marketers meld perception and reality. The fact is that people perceive what they want to believe. This explains much about politics, religion and brand loyalty. People perceive value in things – concepts, communities, tribes, brands – and either admire or despise them accordingly. A lot of money has been made by creating a brand and charging people for the brand as opposed to the product. You can spend $3,500 for a Saint Laurent handbag which has a manufacturing cost of maybe $10, holds no more than a Walmart handbag, and arguably is a sterile design devoid of individualism. And many people do. One of marketing’s jobs is to decide on the perception the public should have of a product or a brand. This is driven largely by the target audiences and … Continue reading

Brand Bonuses

“You can get better quality than we offer, but you can’t find a higher price than ours.” Oddly, that pitch works when not stated so bluntly. Known in marketing circles as the Mercedes Effect, it shows that people are willing to pay money for no added value aside from perception. Mercedes, Coach handbags, Apple computers and many other products have remarkably higher prices and margins than competing products of equal functional value. The difference is almost entirely because people want to own the brand and enhance their sense of self-worth by proxy. There are other reasons for cultivating cult brands aside from getting obscenely rich. Great brands, well-crafted and relentlessly enforced can: Create buyer/market/investor faith in the product/company/cause. Bias purchase decisions, thereby increasing the number of conversions per promotional dollar. Create a sense of mystic relevance (or as the authority on propaganda calls it, perceived hidden underground knowledge). Allow you … Continue reading