Change vs Familiarity

We’re comfortable with what we know, yet uncomfortable with what we don’t know.

We see this with change. Whereas familiarity brings certainty, change brings unknowns.

It’s the reason we’re more likely to trust someone with a familiar name than a foreign one.

But when we wrap change in familiarity, we’re more likely to accept it.

Design lends itself well to this. You can take something unfamiliar and use design to wrap it in a familiar blanket that invites acceptance instead of suspicion.

It allows you to stand out but not apart from the audience you serve.

Brands like Clorox do this. Introducing new products, like fabric softeners, under their familiar brand name. The newness of the product bringing attention, the familiarity bringing adoption.

Change wrapped in familiarity makes innovative ideas more accessible because people know what to expect.

However, it’s in the unexpected that opportunities arise. Because it’s in the unexpected that customers find delight. Delight that what they’ve purchased has risen above their expectations.

It’s how tribes for brands form. Delighted customers attracting people with their magnetic enthusiasm for the product or service.

Their attraction makes the unfamiliar familiar, inviting widespread adoption.

A cycle that’s constantly repeating itself.

Tanner Garniss-Marsh, RGD, is a brand strategist and designer working with business owners to bring their envisioned brand to life with strategic and practical solutions.

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