When I was teaching Marketing 101 to sleepy undergraduates, we used to talk about the way customers perceive differences between products and how they tolerated change.
It’s easy to see with a car manufacturer. You want to change the design of the model you’ve been selling for the past 20 years.
Here are 3 ways you can kill the interest with a creativity overdose.
(1) Prospects can’t categorize your offer.
The truth is, people like familiar categories. When they hear about your service, they want to put you into a familiar category. Are you a life coach? Copywriter? Business coach? Consultant?
You may have received advice to avoid categories. For instance, describe your service as “stress relief.” But there’s a big difference in stress relief with aromatherapy, massage, meditation, herbal teas or psychotherapy. Your audience may tune out as soon as they hear the term “aromatherapy” or “counseling.” It’s unlikely they’ll be convinced by any discussion of the powerful stress relieving properties of the modality in question
(2) They’re completely clueless about what you do
Often I see websites where service professionals try to come up with creative names to describe what they do. Examples that are imaginary (as far as I know) include Life Energizer, Creative Catalyst, or Profit Maximizer Coach.
Recently someone posted about a new fitness program that offered extra personal services to members. There was just one catch. They were seeking another word for “members.”
(3) They’re not looking for this new service.
So you need to be sure that your niche seeks the service you provide. Equally important, you have to describe what you offer in a context they understand. It’s very difficult to innovate creatively with a new service.
But you can’t force a change.
I learned this lesson myself when I published my first website on the topic of relocation. I explored the possibility of offering my services as a coach to help people deal with the stress of moving.
It didn’t take me long to find out that (a) no matter how stressed they were, people don’t want to bring another service into their lives when they’re moving; and (b) relocation companies won’t support this service: they honestly believe they remove all stress by helping people pack.
The key is to find just the right amount of uniqueness and avoid chasing creativity for its own sake
It’s sort of like Goldilocks and those awful bears who invaded her private space.
Too much innovation? You’re into “confused mind says no” territory.
Too little? You’re viewed as a cookie-cutter solution or as someone who’s still stuck in an outdated business model.