Six moments of truth to create a positive impression of your brand

This is the third article that explores customer-centricity in today’s context.

Moments of truth(MOT) describes the process that a customer journeys through in micro-moments that extends from the pre, during and post buying experiences.  It can be leveraged on for you to interact with a customer to form a positive impression and experience of your brand.  Applicable in an array of product and service industries, it can greatly enhance your brand to get in front of potential customers, and increases the likelihood of retaining current customers. 


“Moment of Truth” was defined by Jan Carlzon in the early 1980s.  Carlzon was the president of Scandinavian Airlines and posited that if one managed every interaction to create a positive outcome, the business would be successful.  Applying the MOT, Carlzon turned Scandinavian Airlines around to provide customer service par excellence, which became a great success within the industry.

This concept was later applied across different industries and was enhanced with variations.  In 2005 A.G. Lafley, Chairman, President and CEO of Procter & Gamble applied it to the consumer sales process and identified the first, second and third moments of truth. 

Post 2010, Google came up with the Zero MOT, Eventricity coined Less Than Zero MOT, and Amit Sharma of Narvar identified the ActualMOT. 

Collectively, there are now six MOT which have been defined. 

Six moments of truth

Less than zero MOT refers to the juncture that a customer in general, seeks information about products and services.   Pro-activity is required to reach out to customers through various mediums at this stage eg. social media, email marketing, advertisements.   Advanced targeting and monitoring of customer activities is required, which can reduce the likelihood of potential customers choosing a competitor.

Zero MOT represents the juncture, where a potential customer does research prior to buying.  This is when the customer searches for specific information regarding the product eg. a variety of baked beans brands such as Heinz, Campbell, Kimball.  At this time, a customer will seek reviews and more information of the product eg. sugar content and calorie levels of Heinz baked beans.

First MOT relates to that moment when a potential customer experiences a product or service (physical or digital) eg. Heinz baked beans with reduced sugar content.  In this micro-moment, the brand has the best potential to create an unplanned or impulse purchase and convert a browser into a buyer.  Impulse purchases are primarily emotionally driven.  In this case, the brand needs to appeal to the customer’s senses, values and emotions at the point of sale.  This immediate impression relies on effectively presenting and demonstrating product specifications that will fulfil the customer’s needs. This moment is crucial because the customer will decide whether to move forward with learning more about what the product practically can offer.

Actual MOT is the customer’s journey after clicking “buy” and includes the ‘waiting’ period for the product to be received i.e. order processing until delivery.  The entire process could take a short while eg. buying an online ticket to a theme park that is instantaneously produced.  It could also take longer eg. several days for a package from iHerb in the States to be couriered to another part of the world.   Supply chain processes usually include an email or text notification or hardcopy that the order was received and possibly a follow-up that confirms the order was shipped.  It is during this ‘waiting’ period that a gap could occur i.e. lack of a branded experience and/ or control over the outcome when multiple parties are involved in the shipping process eg. when orders are coordinated among various freight forwarders in different parts of the world.

Second MOT refers to the point in time that experiences are gathered when the customer uses the product or service.  Examples include dining at a Michelin starred restaurant or using a financial application to transfer funds to an overseas account.  This experience is pivotal as it has a direct impact on customers’ satisfaction.  It is crucial in determining if a customer continues to interact with a brand as a repeat customer. 

Third MOT or Ultimate MOT is the moment of customer advocacy and results from the collective experiences gathered from the preceding moments.  This is when customers provide feedback to the organisation, write reviews and share their experiences with family, friends and colleagues.  It is at this moment that organisations will know if the preceding moments and experiences provided, have been successful at transforming a customer into a fan thereby establishing true brand loyalty. 

Applied well, MOT can be leveraged on to delight customers at every juncture of the journey with a brand.  This can reduce churn (quit the brand) in favour of a competitor, and can lead to continual brand engagement with the customer who could in turn become a “brand ambassador”.  


  • Hyken, S.  (2016).  The new moment of truth in business.  Retrieved from
  • Liferay.   (2017).  What are the five moments of truth in marketing?  Retrieved from, M.  (2016).  SEO & the zero moment of truth.  Retrieved from

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