"If you think you can
or you think you can't,
you're right."

Henry Ford


"None of us is as good as
all of us."

Ray Krok
Founder of McDonald's


"It is the dull man
who is always sure.
The sure man
who is always dull."

H.L Menchen


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The Big Promise

“Change your life, so you can use our product.”

How many people do you think would want to take you up on that proposition? Yet sometimes we’re inclined to position a product or service in just such a way — to represent big change — to make “The Big Promise.”

When we want people to adopt a new product or service, we have to give them reasons why. Logic tells us that the stronger the reasons, the greater the chance we’ll succeed in making the sale. So, we start cooking up the biggest promise our lawyers will allow us to make. We want to say things like, “The most revolutionary advance of its time,” or, “You'll never have to do (whatever you are doing now) again.”

But people really do not like too much change, even when the reasons for it are irrefutable. That’s why there are still people



living in Gary, Indiana, a place with arguably the worst air pollution andeconomic decay in North America. People prefer to stay put.

That’s why some new products with a great deal of advantages meet an inexplicable wall of resistance. People are afraid of too much change, and we can compound their concern by making the promise too big.

Sometimes, if you’ve got a “Big Promise” to make, maybe you should reconsider. It might be more persuasive to position the product or service closer to the person’s comfort zone — not a big change, but a simple extension of something they’re already doing.

If I had to sell Gary, Indiana residents on the idea of moving to a new utopian community, I might try to reassure them that it’s as much like good old Gary as my lawyers would permit me to say.