Mere exposure effect
“Why would someone ever use this product?”
If you’re a startup founder, product manager or someone who builds new products, the chances you heard this question is pretty high. And there is a scientific reason for that — the mere-exposure effect.
People tend to like and use things they are familiar with. When you buy a product, choose software, pick a stock to invest in, your final decision is based on how many times you have been exposed to that particular option, knowingly or unknowingly, in the past.
And that’s where your struggle as a “builder” starts. Because:
Your product is new.
People are not familiar with it.
People don’t like it.
Whether you’re pitching your business to investors or customers, or even your family members, they bring counterarguments not because they try to understand but is because they are not familiar with your solution.
And it is your job to explain why yours is better than anything else and how it uniquely solves their particular pain.
So, how to tackle this problem if you’re building from scratch? I still learn, but understanding these two things below has helped me navigate the unknown waters.
- Increase exposure: Change exposure from mere to prolonged. Posts, blogs, flyers, display ads, testimonials, remarketing, social marketing, and influencers are ways to increase exposure.
- Reduce fear: This doesn’t mean that your product is scary but instead reducing “the fear” before they start using it because they have never used it before. Onboarding power users, enabling sharing, freemiums, free trials, not asking for credit card info at the getgo, clear return policies, ease of connecting with support are some ways to reduce fear.
Overall, understanding your target demographic’s phycology well and helping them understand your solution clearly by increasing exposure and familiarity is more important than building a novel product.
PS: This is my first post on Medium, and I will share my thoughts and learnings about startups, entrepreneurship, insurance, product design, and marketing. You can subscribe to my Medium here or follow me on LinkedIn or Twitter.