I have always been a believer in the concept of perception is reality. Perhaps it comes from a career in advertising where one is either told directly that is the case, or it becomes obvious that manipulating perceptions successfully is the end game.
I’ve come to another conclusion as to why the algebra behind Perception = Reality remains relevant, perhaps why it’s stronger than ever – people as producers or editors.
The speed and reach of the telephone game in a digital age can call attention to a single person’s perception that is easily and quickly picked up by a blogger who not only posts that person’s perception but also sees a story inside a story and adds their perception which starts a separate string off of the original story which gets linked to based on that blogger’s network and perhaps a few more stories within stories generated based on those folks perceptions are begun which can then be picked up by a more traditional media outlet with a more traditional definition of “reach” and “critical mass” and perhaps in a week, perhaps in a day there’s a good amount of people reached and people talking in a number of different industries about a number of different topics and it all began with one person’s perception. Welcome to your reality.
If you believe that your brand is in the hands of your customers, then you believe that their perception is going to create your reality. Even if you still feel like you and only you truly own your brand, why would you be investing in advertising? Aren’t you trying to define perceptions that will lead to a reality of increased business?
The thing is there is a critical mass of people who aren’t passively accepting your ownership of your brand anymore. They aren’t internalizing your messages. They’re talking about them – about your brand – deciding your reality based on their shared perceptions.