The Safe Bet
Here’s my daily newsletter navigating the crossroads of business, growth, and life.
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"Risk comes from not knowing what you're doing." - Warren Buffett
We've been told to shop around. Compare prices. Find the best deal. But that's not what people really want.
What we're actually after? Certainty. Assurance. Peace of mind.
We don't want the cheapest. We want the safest. The most trustworthy. The one least likely to let us down.
Brand names used to provide that. But now? We put more stock in reviews from people like us. Social proof. Word of mouth.
Take buying a mattress. Endless choice, right? How to decide? We turn to friends first. What kind do you have? How has it held up? Did you try anything else first? We're probing for confidence, not bargains.
Or signing up for a gym. Sure there may be cheaper options. But we choose the shiny franchise location because it feels reliable. They'll be around next year to honor that membership. The scrappy startup? Not so sure. Too risky.
In a world full of unknowns, we cling to any sense of certainty we can find. We pay more for established companies. For famous logos. For guarantees. Even if the guarantee itself is an illusion, it still provides that smidge of reassurance we crave.
At the end of the day, people don't want deals. They want some protection against regret. Against picking wrong. They want to know they made the best choice.
So what drives that feeling of risk when we're deciding between options? A few key factors:
Lack of social proof. If we don't see others choosing it, something must be wrong. Right?
Too many unknowns. When details are hazy or support seems questionable, we get antsy.
Fear of commitment. Parting with hard-earned cash on a purchase that could easily disappoint. Gives us pause every time.
And as business owners, understanding this changes everything.
What if we shifted focus from price to building undeniable confidence in our customers? From deals to trust?
What’s the antidote to perceived risk?
Well, here's the truth: risk is subjective. It's possible to position an ultra-affordable product as the safest choice. It comes down to messaging and vibe.
Spotlight those glowing testimonials.
Offer return policies with no hassle.
Share your origin story - how you started as an underdog.
Overinvest in thoughtful customer service.
Remind them again and again that you CARE. You've got their back.
In other words, go above and beyond to show how you reduce regret and uncertainty. How you allow customers to exhale that sigh of relief.
THAT is what people are really lining up for. Not deals. But certainty in a world severely lacking.
Maybe "expensive" companies have simply done a better job reducing perceived risk. And we can do the same.