Knowledge Bank Blog, Behaviour Change, New Product Launches

Risk Free Trial

Do you have neophobia?

Maybe it would help if we told you what it meant.

The word neophobia comes from Greek.

Neos means new. Phobos means fear. Neophobia is the fear or dislike of anything new.

Most people don’t have the clinical version of neophobia. But we’re all neophobic to some extent.

Order the same food at a restaurant each time? Go to the same places on holiday? Listen to the same type of music? Then you’re a bit neophobic.

We tend to overvalue things that we already do and undervalue new things we could do.

The biggest reason for this is uncertainty.

When you do something that you’ve done before (often many times before…) you know what you’re getting.

When you try something new or different, you don’t. It’s a risk.

So, we don’t try as many new and different things as we should.

Why are we talking about this? To drive growth in our industry we need to get shoppers to change their behaviour. To do new and different things. To buy new and different products.

But every new or different purchase brings a risk. A financial risk. Is it worth the money? An emotional risk. What if I make a bad choice?

It also brings an opportunity cost. What could I have bought instead?

To get shoppers to buy new or different products you need to reduce the risk of trial.

To do this you need to maximise the trialability of your product.

So, how can you do this?

Give it a role. Are shoppers going to try something if they don’t know what they will use it for? Or when they will use it? Or why they should use it?

A product is more trialable if shoppers are clear on what the product is for. For instance, John West Jacket Toppers – “put them on a jacket potato.” It’s more trialable if shoppers know when to use it. For instance, Batiste Dry Shampoo “use in between washes.” It’s more trialable if shoppers know why they should use it. For instance, Lenor Unstoppables “add to your wash for non-stop freshness.”

Shoppers are much more likely to try something if they know what they will use it for.

Start Small. Are shoppers going to try something if they have to buy a lot of it? Or pay a lot for it?

A product is more trialable if it’s smaller. For instance, Hendricks 35ml bottle (instead of 70ml) or, even better, the 5ml bottle. It’s more trialable if there is just one serving. For instance, Nutella single serve packets. It’s more trialable if there is introductory pricing. For instance, Peroni Capri launched with a £4 (for 3 bottles) introductory price instead of £5 – driving trial but also protecting the base price point.

The less shoppers need to buy and pay, the more likely they are to try something.

Leverage the Leader. Are shoppers going to try something that they’ve never heard of before? Or have no association with?

A product is more trialable if it comes from an established brand. For instance, Peroni 0.0% – “Refreshing Italian taste. Now with 0.0% alcohol.” It’s more trialable if shoppers already like a similar product. For instance, Kinder Milk Slice – “Love Kinder Surprise? Then you’ll love Kinder Milk Slice.” It’s more trialable if it’s connected to another relevant purchase. For instance, Smart Water “£1 with any hot drink” at Costa.

Shoppers are more likely to buy product B because they have bought or like product A.

Trigger Trust. Are shoppers going to try something if they don’t know if they can trust it? Or if they only have the brand saying how good they are?

Trust often comes from what other people say about a product. That might mean social proof. For instance, Pot Noodle Piri-Piri Chicken “voted for by you.” It might mean expert endorsement. For instance, Pampers “the only newborn nappy approved by the British Skin Foundation.” It might mean word of mouth. For instance, BrewDog “refer a friend, get a punk on us.”

Shoppers want to trust that a new or different choice is going to be a good choice.

Where there is uncertainty there is risk. Where there is risk, we tend to do what we usually do.

To get shoppers to try new and different things you need to reduce the risk.

More “neo.” Less “phobia.”

Feel free to forward. Have a great weekend. Speak to you in fortnight.