All Marketers are Liars

Besides a catchy name, Seth Godin’s latest marketing book, All Marketers are Liars, successfully outlines a key branding principle:

“All marketers tell stories. And if they do it right we believe them. Successful marketers don’t talk about features or even benefits. Instead, they tell a story. A story we want to believe.”

Markets have ingrained and pre-set worldviews, biases and preferences. Organizations that can adapt and mould themselves to these preconceived perspectives and develop believable product or service stories will win marketshare. When audiences identify with a product or service “story” they become brand consumers.

For example, “…we believe that an $80,000 Porsche Cayenne is vastly superior to a $36,000 VW Touareg, even if it is virtually the same car. We believe that $225 Pumas will make our feet feel better—and look cooler—than $20 no-names, and believing it makes it true.” In other words, Godin is suggesting the market’s perception of a brand is more important than the actual product or service itself in winning marketshare.

Overall, All Marketers are Liars is a quick and interesting read. The book provides information on marketing and branding principles and methodologies while featuring case studies to support Godin’s position.


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