presentation strange

Source: Unsplash/Product School

Bri Williams

Turn and face the strange: How to deliver better presentations

Bri Williams
Business Advice
4 minute Read

To make the familiar strange and the strange familiar is an approach taken by anthropologists and sociologists in fieldwork. Their aim is to bridge the ‘them/us’ divide, drawing parallels between one culture and another, while also drawing attention to customs or behaviours that are noteworthy. But it’s something we can use in business, too.

When launching a new product, for example, it helps to make it look familiar. It’s no surprise that self-driving vehicles look like regular cars. To increase the adoption of new technology – to help customers feel comfortable – manufacturers need to normalise what the product looks like.

Apple used this technique when it launched its retail stores. While the stores were a new experience in retail design for electronics, they were also strangely familiar. Why? The stores were based on hotels, complete with someone to greet you at the door and a concierge station. A new experience was also a familiar one.

And anytime you hear someone say they are the “Uber” of whatever, you know they are using familiarity to bridge gaps in understanding.

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