Stevie Belchak | Strategy

Conversion, conversion, conversion! Conversion is understandably top of mind for clients who are building sites and launching first-of-their kind products. In an effort to drive users to the shopping cart, there’s an eagerness to highlight a product’s form, function and features. But, it’s important to remember where users are coming from. Some visitors may be doing cursory research via Search, some clicking through a targeted ad campaign, and still others, happening on a hyperlink in a news article. The fact is, not all users are ready to purchase upon landing on your website.  When they are ready to purchase, we should make it easy for them to get there literally and figuratively.

At Character, we see a product’s launch site as an opportunity to generate fans, not just clicks.  Because when a new product launches on a website, we are also launching a brand. When users see how a product fits into their lives, or folds into their belief systems, that is when they make a move, regardless of how many “Get It Today” messages we surface.

So how do we turn potential users into believers?

Provide context

Remember – not only does your new-to-the-world product look alien to users, how it fits into their world is also alien. It’s never been tried on for size. It’s never been used. It’s never been experienced.

Take the iPod. When it launched, its sleek design, touchpad turntable and easy-to-toggle volume alone likely did not inspire millions to trade in their familiar Walkmans for a pocket-sized boombox. Its form may have driven curiosity, but it was the silhouette of the “every man” dancing hands-free and carefree that turned music lovers on.

In diving into proof points and finer details of your product and not taking the time to brush broader strokes first, you risk losing your audience in the weeds. For the curious and less-informed, context is particularly key. You want to move beyond trees and paint a complete picture of the forest – how your product plays with other products, how it intersects with users’ lives, how it fits into their story.

Create an emotional connection

Though other companies may eventually compete in terms of functionality, it’s the “feeling” your brand gives users that’s impossible to replicate. And, creating that feeling doesn’t happen through a single touch point, but across all touch points – including web experiences.

Recently, Character helped launch the product site for Teforia. Functionally, Teforia is first-of-its-kind, allowing for the creation of a near-perfect cup of tea, every time. While functional messaging was essential to explaining what it is and how it works, we wanted to dig deeper.  At the heart of every tea maker lays an inherent love of ritual, the ability to step out of the day-to-day to experience, a momentary renewal. We used this as a guide in defining the brand and crafting its introduction to the world.  We looked for ways to emphasize little instances of calm and indulgence that users could readily connect with. The tea bubbling. The steam rising. That moment of that fresh pour. Our intent: encourage associations with reprieve and tranquility, to pique the senses and help visitors “feel” something unique.

Show them where to dig

Sometimes new products or services enter a market with the odds already stacked against them. Perhaps existing products in the landscape failed to meet users’ expectations. Or perhaps a product lives in space where fact and fiction are hard to distinguish.

In these instances, it’s important to get out ahead of user doubt and fear, but it’s equally important to do so delicately. Diving into the science behind the product too quickly could overwhelm, or placing too much a focus on efficacy could raise authenticity flags.

With one of our recent clients, Molekule, an air purifier company entering a market where vague claims and poor effect was common, we quickly identified the need to not simply build emotion, but to educate. We strategically used a “Technology” page to allow audiences to dive deeper on their own, balancing technicalities with approachable language, soft hues, and lifestyle imagery – literally unveiling science in the comfort of users’ homes.

Our thinking: it’s important to unveil the unfamiliar in a familiar way and give the audience the opportunity to go deeper – on their terms. Because when it comes to building relationships, nuanced communications work best and trust takes time.