Familiarity Also Breeds Customersby J.W. Abraham on 03/06/16
We've all heard the saying "familiarity breeds contempt".
Yes, most of us like new things. As it relates to business, it could mean seeing new products, and communicating them in new creative ways.
But, familiarity can be a good thing too. And, that can mean more customers and sales.
Here's a situation many of us have experienced.
We are travelling or have moved to a new place. We go to a store and find it is organized totally different from the store back home.
Now, if you have plenty of time that can be ok. It can be fun to explore something new.
If you are in a hurry though, it can be so frustrating. It can mean taking much longer to find what you need. It may mean never finding the product you wanted. It may even lead to you just walking back out. I know, I have even left a store when I cannot find something and there is no one to ask either. Maybe you have too.
So, presenting your business and products in a familiar and consistent way can have its benefits.
With this in mind, here are three marketing areas besides your store layout where you need to provide enough familiarity and consistency so your customers find it easy to shop with you.
Your website can be so tempting to open up the valve on your creative inspirations. But, be careful. Too much creativity can make it hard for your customers to find what they are looking for. And, like the store example above, they may just leave.
So think about what the customer is looking for. They expect to see an About page, a Contact page and a Product or Services tab.
Plus, think about where the customer expects to find it. Present it with the customary left side links or top horizontal links.
Even think about things like is the type face readable and are the links easily recognizable if the customer wants to read more information about a product.
2. Product Organization
This is super important if you offer many different products.
And organizing your products can take a lot of work to do it well. You need to do some research about where customers would look for certain products. You need to research what category names and even product names you use. If you are too cute and unique the customer may never find it.
If you have a product that could be found in more than one category then on your website list it under all the appropriate categories.
3. Design and Copy
Consistent and familiar design and copy can also be crucial in making it easier for your customers to shop with you.
That means providing familiarity and consistency across all the pages of your website and catalog as well as across all of your mediums. This is so the customer associates the communication piece with your company and the customer can easily understand your advertisements, product descriptions and other content.
To do so, your company should have some sort of style guide. For design, that means defining issues like the color, elements and a layout to use. For copywriting, that means defining things like type face (though this can be a design issue too), the use of bullets, the way terms are abbreviated, and even the general tone of your communications.
So Don't Underestimate the Value of Familiarity
Sure, your company needs to show how different it is from your competitors.
But don't be so different it makes it hard for your customer to shop. They need to be able to figure out how to navigate your website, find your products and understand your product descriptions.
Customers need a certain amount of familiarity and consistency.
So while the saying says "familiarity breeds contempt" the lack of familiarity can breed contempt too.