Raise your hand if you absolutely love the thrill of trying something new and regularly step out of your comfort zone.
Did you raise your hand? If so, you’re probably one of the few—an early adopter who’s willing to throw caution to the wind and brazenly take on new products, adventures, and challenges.
The rest of us, well, we’re over here safely in our comfort zone, probably wearing leggings, an oversized sweatshirt, and fuzzy house shoes (or whatever makes you the most comfy).
“Let’s be real — nobody is looking to change their behavior. Humans are a race of habit formers, and we are notoriously slow to adopt new ones.”
This is important for brands to note when developing and launching a new product to the market. Sure, there are going to be people who are willing to try brand new, unheard of products (see early adopters above), but most people fall back to human nature, which is to trust in the familiar.
“Many new businesses set out to create a new habit, where the smarter move would be to leverage an existing habit and have consumers try your product instead of one that they already use.”
Unless your name is Apple, you’d be hard-pressed to launch a previously unknown product and people come out in droves to buy what you’re selling. Instead, brands who want to successfully launch a new product must build a bridge from what your consumers are already doing to what you want them to do.
But how do you create this bridge?
It’s difficult to encourage new behaviors or purchasing patterns in consumers when they aren’t sure where your product fits in. It’s up to you to let them know what problem your product is solving and introduce the added value you offer.
“Finding your lane is all about finding the most relevant accepted truth and habit to your product, and then capitalizing on the existing knowledge in the consumer pool to differentiate your superior product. This is what will ultimately shift their purchasing pattern from their current default choice to your newer, better offering.”
Make Your Product Familiar
Big changes are often the result of small changes over time—and encouraging new consumer behavior is no different. In order to see the big change of new behavior, you have to start small and make your new product familiar. Over time, through consistent exposure to your brand’s emotional and rational messaging through the channels potential customers use most, you will build subconscious brand equity. Then, when it’s time to transact, consumers won’t hesitate to make a purchase from your company because you’ll have been firmly planted in their minds as a trusted friend.
Be Ready to Rework your Approach
You’re not always going to be successful on your first try when bringing a new product—and new behavior expectations—to market. You may need to experiment as you go along, using the results to reshape and refine messaging, offers, and more to find what really draws potential customers to your brand—and prompts them to behave in the desired way.
When our brains are hard-wired to trust the familiar, offering up a new product can be tricky. So instead of expecting consumers to step out of their comfort zone, let’s bring the comfort zone to them.