The Power of Discomfort

8 Sep

Habits are hard to break. Advertisers try to break habits all the time when our objective is getting consumers to switch from a competitor’s brand to ours, or buy something they don’t normally buy.
 
Often, we use rational arguments. Use our brand of toothpaste because research says it reduces more plaque. Switch to our energy-efficient light bulbs and you’ll save money in the long run. Problem is, switching is a pain. Bigger problem is, people are comfortable in their set routines. Our logical statements zoom past prospects as they throw up their hands and say, “Hey, I’ve been using Brand X for years and I’ve never had a problem.”
 
Here’s how we can break through. First of all, make switching easier or less costly. But more importantly, make people uncomfortable with their current choice. An uncomfortable consumer is more likely to consider another option.
583-6_IH_Poster_02.pdf
We did this with hearing health care provider Island Hearing – showing what people were missing out on by continuing to postpone a hearing aid purchase. Once the audience was emotionally impacted, the rational offer became that much stronger.

Safe, conventional creative will not make prospects uncomfortable. Likely, the kind of advertising that will make consumers uncomfortable will make clients nervous too. Uncomfortable is okay, so long as the advertising is on strategy. Advertising that creates discomfort stands out in the noisy media world, and it gives you your best chance to win over the competitors’ customers.

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