Change is tough. That's why most people resist it – no matter the cost. So, how do you get people to change their way of thinking and switch from a competitor's product to yours?
Changing behavior starts by impressing or embedding an idea on someone's mind. But the first step of that process is making that idea "stick.”
I once had a mentor of mine tell me ideas became "sticky," why they stay in people's minds and develop a life of their own.
He had taken the concept of having “a stickiness of an idea” and created a checklist of actions to help other make their ideas so they're more likely to stick with colleagues and consumers.
So I asked, “How do you begin to apply these steps to your marketing strategy?” He simply replied by saying, “It's simple: Focus, start small and follow these steps.”
1. Start small, and communicate clearly
When you're encouraging a customer to switch brands—whether it's his laundry detergent or SUV—you're asking for the same thing: change. And according to human nature, the best change is closest to no change at all.
So create a path for your consumer that's simple to follow, and one that communicates clearly. After all, how can people alter their behavior when they're not sure why they need to in the first place?
2. Change one thing at a time
The next step is to focus on changing one behavior at a time—to make it seem as if you are "shrinking the change." For a change to be implemented successfully, a business must change the situation, while being cautious of how quickly the change is taking place. Remember that old saying, the slow and steady win the race?
3. Connect with consumers
Instead of focusing on industry competition, start by focusing your attention on the customers experience and needs. Putting your consumers' needs, desires and feelings first works. If you tug at your customers' emotions, their minds will soon follow. Connect to them on a level that resonates with them whether through pictures, testimonies, or even personal slogans.
Creating change isn't easy. But with letting some basic principles guide your efforts, creating campaigns that stick with your customers is inevitable—and simpler than ever.
Zachary T. Brown