I was listening recently to the story of an entrepreneur starting up a new organisation. There was a lot of frustration as a potentially sector-changing product was not accepted by the market – despite obvious procedural and cost benefits.
One thing it triggered in my mind is a reflection on the marketing/selling of new ideas – particularly ones that are radical leaps forward from current thinking/products. When we hear about new products or services, while we may listen to features, we think and reflect on the usefulness or otherwise of the product in the context of our current lives or our future experiences.
If we can imagine it in use in our lives (either as they are or as we wish they were) – can actually see how it might fit into the stories we run – then we are able to assess its usefulness or not.
If that jump is too great (i.e. imagining it in use requires a major change in the pattern of our lives), then even if the shift is for the better, then the reaction is negative. In general, it’s easier to welcome small shifts in our lives for the positive than it is for a huge quantum leap.
The upshot is that, if you are marketing any product, help people to see and intuit its use in their lives first and foremost. If not, be aware that you’re asking for a high level of trust and your potential customers feel an inherent risk in making the change.