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The influence of marketing on customer perception

Most successful products and services live multiple lives. One starts in the creation hubs of your business—your office, assembly room or studio. This is where you take raw ideas and mold them into a tangible item. You create software, an innovative product or the next evolution of your signature design. After your creation reaches viability, you call in the marketing team.

What happens next is nothing short of a rebirth

Details are transformed into features, values, functions and benefits. Your teams build an entire world around your offering. They create a setting for your product’s story—where it exists, how it exists and why it’s important to the world. With a setting in place, they create examples of how the lives of buyers will change for the better after purchasing and communicate to customers using their own terms and value statements.

When you’re done, you’ve moved from a concept or idea to a living, dynamic creation. Now more than just your ideas, it’s the ideal product or service to fill a specific need and you’ve created value for buyers.

This cycle of design and rebirth is a common business process. It’s the difference between the hip items such as iPads and their Android counterparts. Or the reason people impulsively buy a specific brand of soda or eat a specific snack. Major differences between many of these items are few. What sets them apart in the minds of buyers is the story.

When the story is good, customers experience your product in a different way.

Canon Australia Photography Project

Canon Australia highlighted this point last year in their photography experiment series The Lab. Canon asked 6 photographers to photograph 1 man. Each session, the man behaved and dressed the same. However, the resulting portraits were strikingly different—sometimes looking like a different person.

What made the difference? Each photographer was told a different story. The man photographed lived six lives—a fisherman, psychic, convict, millionaire, recovering addict and hero. None of these things were true, but the story influenced how the photographer approached the shots, created assumptions about their subject and ultimately played an integral role in creating their final product.

Your products and services are no different. The stories that potential buyers hear will shape their view of your brand and its offerings. Be sure the stories are powerful, targeted and optimized to boost results for your business.

While marketing practices evolve and adapt to technologies and trends, this core element remains fundamental and elusive to so many. Long-term success is about more than a great product. It is this cycle of creation, rebirth and storytelling that propels success, builds followings and creates growth year after year.

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