Points of Passion (POPs, made up of our hopes and fears) are the reason stories exist. That’s why I often say, “All stories are true.” Although, maybe I should say “All good stories are true.” For, in the most outlandish tale, there is an essential truth about the audience, a POP, that connects the reader, listener or viewer with narrative being presented.
Take a recently popular story, Harry Potter and dig into the POPs it represents. Nearly all of us know there are no such things as dragons, wands, wizards nor a boarding school to train them. However, these books and movies tapped into some things that are very true. They connected with a young persons fear of being alone, frustration at not being taken seriously and their hope to have a significant place in society. The stories were about growing up. All the fantastical stuff was simply a disarming context in which Rowling could articulate a meaningful moral tale.
To the marketing decision maker not having a thorough understanding of the consumer's POPs means they will often be talking past the consumer. They will rely on functional benefits to sell the product or even worse, they will emphasize the wrong POP all together.