Is this what you really want?

The results of the Texas and Ohio primaries were very instructional for anyone involved in marketing.

Words like “hope” and “change” build our enthusiasm. Those words encourage and inspire us. We like to hear them.

But when decision time comes, we choose the known, even if we don’t really like it, over the risk of the unknown.

People want change but they don’t want risk. We fear what we do not know. Hope? Change? Do things in a totally different way? That sounds great but people won’t buy it without the specific details. And given the details, they’ll start to pick at the new options. What if……?

Well, if that Plan A doesn’t work, we can go to Plan B. We can go all the way to Plan Z if we have the courage to keep changing until we find the best solution. Why is that bad?

No. That sounds like you’re not sure about what to do. We’d better stick with what we know even if it doesn’t work very well. At least we are familiar with it. Better to be safe than sorry, right?

Thing is, we’re not really safe and sorry is right around the corner. If we don’t rediscover the courage that brought millions of immigrants to this country with nothing but a dream, we’ll go around that corner of sorry. If we find the guts to change, we’ll solve the energy problem, rebuild our industrial base, fix the health care crisis and lead the world in life improving innovations without harming the planet. But you’ll have to be willing to choose hope and change over experience and known.

The marketing reminder is this: if you come up with something totally new and exciting, be sure to link it to the familiar. The fear of change will drag on your sales until the early adopters let their friends know that it’s safe.

Chris Reich, Author of TeachU’s Business Talk Blog
[email protected]