Familiar brands win – every time.
When someone doesn’t understand or have any experience with your product or service they’ll gravity to the familiar. But why is that?
It’s all about reducing perceived risk.
They don’t want to risk making a bad decision – and this is most likely happening on a sub-conscious level. Remember that perception is reality in the absence of experience.
I’ll bet you’ve gone to the liquor store to choose a good bottle of wine for a dinner party with friends. You were confronted with literally hundreds of choices but either chose a familiar bottle you’ve tried before, a bottle from a winery you’ve tried before and liked, or a bottle that someone recommended to you.
The wine you tried before had very little risk because you knew what to expect. The un-tried wine from the familiar winery had a reduced perceived risk because of the halo-effect of the brand (as in you’ve had good Merlot from the winery so you think they must also make a good Pinot Gris). The recommended wine also had reduced perceived risk because of the third-party endorsement.
All the other wines weren’t even on your consideration list because you had no brand reference other than the country/region they were from and the attractiveness of the label. They weren’t familiar and therefore the perceived risk was too high for you to choose them.
This scenario plays out everyday – whether you’re buying soup or choosing an accountant. Think about your own experience and how you’ve gravitated to a familiar brand and you’ll come to appreciate the importance of reducing perceived risk and why it’s important to build your brand.