Turn and face the strange: How to deliver better presentations
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.