Sometimes, weird vowel-less sounds (?) stumble out of busyfolks’ mouth. When they utter these sounds among themselves, there is an implicit expectation that the meaning is understood. Its amazing really, a fence made of sounds.

Recently, I was confronted with this particular sound -“FMOT”. It took me  a while to hear sideways and decipher the words hiding behind the capital letters. “First moment of Truth”.
Most marketing students, including me, would know this as legacy of the store shelf Gladiator – P&G.Its an elegant concept really from a marketer’s perspective – it is that decisive time frame when a customer first sees a product in the store shelf and gets sufficiently curious about it to buy it or not.
It’s a crucial time for the product – ‘it’s showtime!’
But is it a “moment of truth”? err.. i won’t want a single moment of my life to be that shallow.
What does ‘moment’ mean? what does ‘truth’ mean?P&G’s ‘Moment of Truth’ feels like the worst kind of doublespeak.
It essentially indicates a consumer reaction to the brand. Though ‘moment’ in MOT seems to give importance to the ‘when’ aspect of consumer reaction, its relevance largely is in engineering the ‘how’ & ‘why’ aspect of the reaction.

And if brands spend billions of dollars a year in engineering these ‘moments of truth‘, where does the blameless essence of the word go? (engineering the truth?)

From ‘reaction’ to ‘truth’, it is a huge shift in gravity. Reaction is merely an automatic small act in the grand narrative of life – mundane – sometimes even thoughtless.
The other is a moment with neutron star gravity that pauses time. Truth transforms lives. Truth changes the course of histories. Truth transcends the mundane.

What is your moment of truth? choosing Pepsodent over Colgate?

An excellent salesman will engineer his truth at aisle #42 day-in, day-out.

(Is that why we are incapable of describing ourselves beyond our jobs and designations?)

If the salesman stop engineering the truth, he will be left behind. (‘Colgate is better than Pepsodent!’)

What he is left with is the most flexible thing in the universe – his personal truth, and an incessant appetite for change – the ever moving truth.

consumerism’s heirloom – a flexible moral compass and an ever running treadmill.

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