Tried it but decided not to keep using it.

Browsing through Youtube I came across old TV shows that I had watched as a kid and felt very differently about them now. The nostalgia overtook my experience as a kid but the shows seemed different this time around. Not because the shows had changed, but because I had. Not only do worldviews change, but the way we feel about a product changes over time.

Believe it or not, some professional photographers still use film cameras for print work. Despite the fact that digital is cheaper, faster and more efficient. This has nothing to do with the camera and has everything to do with how the film camera makes the photographer feel. Over time the film camera ceased to be just a tool and became a part of the way the photographer viewed themselves and their work. It’s not as easy to change someone’s habits, worldview or comfort as it is to change the technology.

Cotton. “The fabric of our lives” as they say. It is often synonymous with soft, natural, and healthy. That’s because we’ve all been telling ourself a story about South Carolina’s major export for a long time now. A story that has been supported in advertising by the cotton industry itself. What most people don’t realize is that cotton is a disaster. More toxic pesticides are used to grow cotton than any other agricultural product. Cotton creates far more environmental and social side affects than any other crop grown. It also receives more federal subsidies than any other crop. 80% of those federal funds only reaches the hands of 10% of the growers. Conversely, high-tech fabrics are cooler, lighter, easier to maintain and less damaging to the environment.

So why haven’t we switched from cotton to high-tech fabrics?

Because old habits die hard. People don’t like changing their minds meaning it’ll likely be another generation before the population realizes how much damage cotton is doing. The masses have bought the story being fed to them hook, line and sinker. We have implemented our default setting towards the new/better solutions.

There are, of course, segments of the population that are eager to try something new. Photographers, for example, who actively seek out a better lens or shoe enthusiast who will wait in line for days to get their hands on the latest pair of Air Force One’s. It’s these early adopters, who have a bias to try new stuff, that you need to seek out for your story. However, understand that the same bias that motivated them to try your product or engage with your booth is also pushing them to try someone else’s product or booth tomorrow. New products grow when the story persuades a few early adopters and convinces them that the product is the answer to their prayers. So, the hard part isn’t selling to them. The hard part is finding the right group and telling the right story. This is amplified when they tell their friends which we’ll cover next week in Part 4.

Part 1: Noticed it but decided they didn’t want to engage with it.

Part 2: Why didn’t those who noticed the booth, approach it?


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