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When Details and Options Confuse

I went to a natural pharmacy I like very much and saw that flu shots were available. So I decided to get one.

Pharmacist: Do you want it subcutaneous or intramuscular?

Me: I don’t know. What’s the difference?

Pharmacist: One is under the skin, the other is the muscle.

Me: Is there another difference?

Pharmacist: One is a big needle and one is a small needle.

Me: Which is which? Is there an efficacy difference?

Pharmacist: There’s no difference. People usually opt for the standard injection.

Me: Which is…?

Pharmacist: The big needle in the muscle.

Me: I’ll take the small one if they’re really the same.

But are they?

Why offer two options whose differences few people will understand? It’s safe to say no one likes big needles. If you take the small needle though, you worry that you’re making a bad choice since it’s the non-standard option. Options and details should be offered so people can make informed choices.

They could offer benefits of one method over the other, if there is such a thing. Perhaps some people have a reaction to one or the other injection. This would be useful.

What does this have to do with branding? (That’s mostly what a write about, in the broadest sense.)

If a brand is about making connections and helping people connect the dots from what you do to what they need, then every interaction is an opportunity to either confuse or connect. When we’re immersed in our way of thinking, we forget that the outside world doesn’t think like we do. This is especially true for people like technicians, scientists, doctors, engineers and designers.

It’s hard work to be a good steward of your brand. But it’s a worthy goal to always be asking yourself, “How can this information help or benefit the customer to make a decision?” “How can this information be interpreted, or misinterpreted?” “What do we have to do to make it easy for employees to be good stewards of the brand?”

This is a small detail but the kind that people pay attention to.

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