Movie reviewers, food critics, the people who write about wine or stereo equipment… they write most of the review before they even encounter the final product.
Because, of course, they experience it before (you/they/we) think they do.
They've seen the marketing materials. They know the reputation of the director or the vineyard. They have a relationship with their editor, and an instinct about what the people they represent expect.
And of course, it goes double for the non-professional critics… your customers. And even the hiring manager when you're applying for a job.
The last click someone clicks before they buy something isn't the moment they made up their mind. And our expectations of how this is going to sound, feel or taste is pre-wired by all of the clues and hints we got along the way.
We lay clues. That's what it takes to change the culture and to cause action. The thing we make matters (a lot). But the breadcrumbs leading up to that thing, the conversations we hear, the experiences that are shared, the shadow we cast–we start doing that days, months and years before.