Perception or Reality – Which is Real?

As business owners and marketers, we have to make a choice about how to accurately portray our brand given the reality of our product.

Have you seen this Dove ad?

The woman on the left becomes the woman on the right after many strokes of make-up, hair design, and photoshop.

The point that Dove was making with this ad is that the truth of natural beauty should shine through in advertising – not the manufactured make-believe that is seen in abundance.

With that point aside, let’s say that Dove decided to use woman number two in all of their advertising.

Will using Dove soap make you look like woman #2?


Do the majority of women using Dove soap look like woman #2?


So, if Dove had chosen to use woman #2 in their advertising, they would be creating brand incongruency – where brand perception doesn’t match the reality of the product’s benefits or its user base.

Brand is supposed to tell a story, and embody the experience that users have when interacting with your product.

How much of that brand story or projected experience should be what we (or our clients) WANT our product to embody, vs what they actually get?

Jamar Cobb-Dennard is a sales and marketing expert who helps companies without a sales force have a sales force.  To receive your free trial of a software that will track your referral revenue, centralize social media updates, and automate email/text/postcard marketing, click here.


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