We believe what we want to believe, and once we believe something, it becomes a self-fulfilling truth.
Why do consumers pay extra for eggs marketed as being antibiotic free—when all egg-laying chickens are raised without antibiotics, even the kind of chickens that lay cheap eggs?
What matters is what the consumer believes. A long time ago, there was money to be made in selling people a commodity. Making your product or service better and cheaper was a sure path to growth and profitability. Today, of course, the rules are different. Plenty of people can make something cheaper than you can, and offering a product or service that is measurably better for the same money is a hard edge to sustain. Marketers profit because consumers buy what they want, not what they need.
Great stories make a promise. They promise fun or money, safety or a shortcut. The promise is bold and audacious and not just very good—it’s exceptional or it’s not worth listening to.