Every product that is made has certain objective properties. In the example given below, the milk undeniably has no preservatives. It clearly comes in a box. Objectively speaking, it has a shelf life that is quite long. All of these things are verifiably and objectively true. However, for the purposes of marketing, the objective truth does not mean all that much. In marketing, the consumers’ perceptions are rather more important than objective truths.
In this particular case, we see that the consumers’ perceptions generally were much different than what the Parmalat people would have expected. They expected consumers to perceive a product that had no preservatives and yet could be stored for a long time. This would seem like a really attractive product. But the problem was that people perceived it instead as something that was strange. The packaging of liquid milk in a box was such a foreign concept that it put customers off. This illustrates the importance of perception. When you are trying to sell something to people, the only thing that matters is how they perceive it. You will not be able to sell even an objectively superior product unless people perceive it to be superior.