Getting People to Try Something New

Photo by Gerald Yambao

Change is scary. That is why, with a successful new product or service, you see the bell curve with a tiny number of early adopters trying it out for a while before it becomes commonplace. Oftentimes, this process takes months or even years and the innovative entrepreneurs need to stay funded long enough to benefit.

You may have the most amazing new gadget or innovative service, but unless you can convince people to go outside their comfort zone, no one will buy it. The key to success is accelerating the adoption of the new thing. But how can we do it?

Our brains are hardwired to be set in our ways. After all, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” right? Or even if what you have isn’t really working for you, “the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.” There are ways, however, based on neuroscience and behavioral economics to encourage prospects to take the bold step of trying something new.

Demonstrate Value

Today’s buyers are overloaded with information about products, so they end up tuning most of it out. However, there are two ways that human beings intuitively take in information: through engaging stories and the senses.


Show the product or service and how it positively influenced someone’s life. This can be in written form or via video. Be sure to include emotional content, which will allow viewers and readers to relate to the person in the story and see themselves receiving a similar benefit. That benefit might be feeling smarter for getting more and paying less, enjoying the time they gain from added convenience, social validation they get from others or just plain happiness from a better experience.

Multi-sensory Engagement

When you are able to physically be present with prospects, use multiple senses to give them an immersive experience. Opening up a new store or restaurant? Offer free gifts or samples to passers-by. Layer other senses such as scent and music to give them a taste of what they can expect inside. New packaged goods can engage potential buyers with the shape, texture, colors and even scent of their packaging.

Even digital goods and services can use sensory language to prompt prospects to imagine their sensory experience after purchase. This can be explicit, such as describing how comfortable and soft a set of bed sheets will be once you buy it. Or it can rely on heuristics, colors, words and haptics that are short cuts for concepts.

For example, brown and green (the color of trees) are associated with the concept of “natural.” When you use those colors in your marketing or packaging, people are inclined to think of your product as being natural/organic/healthy. If you are selling a luxury item, it is best that the item or packaging be heavy because people associate weight with value.

Make It Easy

People get into routines. If a new product or service is innovative, try to piggyback on prospects’ routines and habits so they don’t have to change their behavior much. When satellite radio launched, it utilized car and home radio equipment that could also receive AM and FM signals. People knew how to work radios and were used to using them. So it was a small change to switch over to the input for satellite radio. This was made even easier when satellite radio-enabled radios were factory installed in new US cars with a year of free service.

Another way of making it easy for people is relating your product to one they are already familiar with. Let’s say you have a service that uses an app to link customers with a pet sitter in their area. Describe it as “the Uber of pet sitting” so that people immediately grasp the concept and feel comfortable with it.

Reduce Risk

Taking away some of the fear up front can go a long way in convincing someone to try something new. One way to do this is social proof. This includes testimonials, positive reviews and marketing that positions the product as the new “it” thing or the service that everyone is using.

You can also be concrete about reducing risk by offering warranties, guarantees and no-hassle refunds.

Let Pro Creative help you create marketing that shortens that new product adoption process.