Breaking Buying Habits

Jun 20, 2013 | Branding Strategies

The greatest obstacle to sales is indifference.

Even though we live in a world of immense choice, customers go with what they know. It’s not that they reject one option for another. Rather they select options they are comfortable with.

According to a recent study, 65% of women in the United States said once they find a brand that satisfies them they usually don’t experiment with new ones. The findings extend well beyond women. B2B companies demonstrate brand loyalty too.

Buying is habitual.

Your customers are on autopilot

You may be passionate about your business and its capabilities, but that doesn’t mean anyone else cares.

The majority of prospects you come across are perfectly content. They’re making decisions and solving problems on a daily basis. They have their suppliers, and they know how to get things done.

But if your company has a better solution—better technology, better product, better service, better price—that indifference to your services can be infuriating.

The real kick in the pants is these companies are not rejecting you, they’re just not considering you. They’re on autopilot. They go with what they know, and operate in the status quo.

From your prospects’ point of view, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Break the pattern

You can’t break the status quo by offering something “slightly better.” You have to give your prospects and your market a compelling reason to consider you.

Change starts with you. How will you draw attention to the issue so you can insert new ideas?

No two answers will be the same. How you engage the topic may be very different from a competitor, and that’s ok.

Inserting ideas depends on context. Apple uses big, showy events to enter new markets and introduce new products. Steve Jobs was one of the greatest pitchmen ever, and created buzz and excitement with each new product launch: Mac, iMac, iPod, iPhone and iPad.

But what worked for Apple doesn’t necessarily port well to other industries. A professional services firm may create more relevant buzz with a well placed quote or commentary in their local newspaper.

To break the pattern in your industry consider the entry point. How can you spark a discussion?

Patterns keep forming

Fighting complacency and indifference is a constant battle until you become the gorilla in your industry.

Apple used to be the young upstart fighting the evil giant, Microsoft. Now Apple is the giant in the consumer electronics industry. They want users to maintain habits around their products. It’s a barrier to entry, and a strategy of self-preservation.

Giants like Apple exist in every industry. To change the habits they instill starts with you. You have to push your target market to become self-aware and shift their perspectives.

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Jeremy Miller

Top 30 Brand Guru

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