Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Convenience is NOT Compelling

I've working with a new client these days that really is selling convenience. Simplifying life should make for a simple PR message. But people are skeptical, rightly so, in trusting that technology is the answer to simplifying their lives. More often, it seems that technology is what needs simplifying--and here's where it gets complicated. People ask, what are you taking out of my life and how are you saving me time? And the answers to those questions always take a little explaining--show, don't tell the pain point. Backing into the pain point by way of the solution and by the time you're done talking, no one is interested in dealing with a minor set up hurdle, and no one's listening anymore.

The bottom line: convenience isn't compelling; it's complicated.

The problem is what people understand--in part because people like to commiserate and complain about things. What is the problem? Can you explain it in one sentence? How about in three-word phrase? Now, stage the picture.

What emotions does that problem raise? Anger? Frustration? Emotions and stories give people something to relate to, a human element.

People can't relate to convenience. We all want it. We all want more time. But it sets the bar too high--how can you give people enough time? How can something be convenient enough? It needs to do more than that to be compelling, it needs to solve a bigger problem.

Can someone invent a time machine please? That would be convenient and compelling.

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