Being New

 

 

new to me Being new is hard. We do not always think about it as so much of our lives brings familiarity to us. The stores that we shop, the aisles of the grocery store, the streets we drive. We can hardly remember a time when we did not know where we were going, the channels on the television, the light switches and the plugs in our homes. We have to stop and think for a second and realize that for some, everything is new. EVERYTHING. Sure, we get a new job, a new client, a new car but and while that is exciting and new to us, the rest of our lives are so stable that we forget so much about being the new kid on the block. The new kid has to learn relearn how to create a comfort zone that gives a sense of stability.

Creating a Comfort Zone

Comfort zones are defined within us. Each of us has one and we are drawn back to it in times when we are feeling that uneasiness of being new or unsure of what we are doing. When we are so new to something and have nothing that is familiar, we look around anxiously as if everyone knows that we are new. My relocation to New Jersey has caused me to dig really deep to find the comfort zones. Yes, I lived in NJ for 30 years before moving to Vegas, however, I now have a 6 year old that I did not have when I lived here before. I live in an area that is as foreign to me as self serve gas is to NJ (note to self, DO NOT get out of the car at the gas station to pump gas). My comfort zones are still unknown right now as when I think of what I have experienced over the past 2 weeks with getting lost more than one person should be allotted in a lifetime to trying to get acclimated to the time zone, it all gets a bit fuzzy.

Making Sense of it All

In our own marketing and advertising, it all makes sense to us, because we know it and are so close to it. That is not always the case for someone new. A new customer has no idea of the facade of the building, the streets to get there, the pages on the website to navigate, the credibility of the business. They have to make sense of it all within themselves. That we can attribute to brand image which is valid but has the new customer taken the time to really develop an image of you in a way that you would like them to do or were you chosen because they could not find someone else in that moment? Was there something that they saw of yours (webpage, Twitter, FB, building, flyer, etc) that satisfied an immediate need and that gave them a sense of familiarity that brought them to a comfort zone?

When we are new, we rely solely and exclusively upon others. Their directions, guidance and recommendations, we are at their mercy. We are so vulnerable that it can almost make your skin crawl thinking about it. Imagine for just a second not knowing where the plugs are in your house. Insane. Imagine having to ask someone or Google where the nearest bank is and then how to get there and let’s not forget how to get back or to another destination as no need to come all the way back home when the post office is around the block from the bank. Now think of your new customers. Are they experiencing complete and utter newness not only to you but to the area itself? How can you help them and create a long lasting relationship? Talk to them, see what they are struggling with and how you can help. Online, are you walking them through your website? Do you have a page that is for first time visitors that explains your site and how they can maneuver their way around to get to know  you and also find what they need? Make sense of it all for them.

Adjusting and Becoming a Familiar Face

We are resilient and we adjust to so many situations in life that we tend to look back at the times when we were so scared and laugh. For parents, remember the days leading up to the birth and the fear that overcomes you from how am I going to get this kid out of me to I have no idea how to take care of a baby. After a few days which lead into months which lead into years, we realize that we did know how to take care of a baby. For me now, I do know that I know how to drive and can adjust to the narrow streets, the one ways and traffic challenges that comes with being in New Jersey. It takes a bit of planning and more thought than I am used to but it also allows me to become a familiar face in certain stores, areas of town and gives people a chance to be helpful. It is very easy to say you are helpful to others until it comes into play from those who need the help. I already know which places I will return to and which ones I will drive by and risk getting lost to find its competitor.

We are all new to something at times. How we adjust many times is how we are greeted, guided and treated. Let’s turn that around to our own businesses, job and life. How are we treating those who are new to us? Are we ensuring that they are not going to drive by and risk getting lost finding our competitor?

photo credit: Alan Vernon.

  • Ugghhh I know this well. Even just as a visitor to a new state or city for a conference or seminar I am speaking at or just attending. I had a hay-day last month with Walgreens flipped their stores around, just last week COX CABLE moved all the high-def channels to the 1000’s…yes the 1000’s…I have to push 4 #’s find my shows…I haven’t been watching TV cause I don’t know where anything is and I don’t have time to figure it out. For that sake I am still on a PC and a Blackberry cause I don’t wanna speak Apple yet…point is I get it. I have been that person who tried to get gas in a state your not allowed to. I might maybe not still able to go to Oregon…haven’t tried in awhile.

    Some people say my website is too busy but I can from Broadcasting where they like to bury the SM widgets and blogs…nothing is ever RIGHT there…well sometimes it is, but most of the time no.
    in marketing and in life we should try harder to think of other people and what is going on in the NEWBIEs mind. Make it easy for people to find you, what you do and what you are about.
    If you do they will probably come back, assuming they like you or can find you on the web “shelf”.
    Love you suzanne and am proud of and for you! glad you are in my life! xo

    • Jessica

      The being new sucks, this we know. In most aspects of life we find that comfort zone except when we are out of our element. The cable company changing the channels is like um ok so where do I find MY shows. The store changing the aisles should have a map for ME. I come there all the time and now i have to search? Sounds so selfish but yet I buy from  you so and you track that so give ME. I guess life is not that way as if we have to search for channels we may find another show or have to peruse the aisles, we will find a new product to buy. UGH is right but  yet as marketers we think differently.

      It is a hard lesson as if we conform to the ME it is filtering and really doing the work. Wait, isn’t that a part of the sale – the work? Call us crazy I suppose.

    • Jessica

      The being new sucks, this we know. In most aspects of life we find that comfort zone except when we are out of our element. The cable company changing the channels is like um ok so where do I find MY shows. The store changing the aisles should have a map for ME. I come there all the time and now i have to search? Sounds so selfish but yet I buy from  you so and you track that so give ME. I guess life is not that way as if we have to search for channels we may find another show or have to peruse the aisles, we will find a new product to buy. UGH is right but  yet as marketers we think differently.

      It is a hard lesson as if we conform to the ME it is filtering and really doing the work. Wait, isn’t that a part of the sale – the work? Call us crazy I suppose.

  • Suzanne, aloha.  Love this piece.  You are so right that we need to look at “being new” from the perspective of our clients/customers.  If we create a good experience and quickly help them feel comfortable–or at least not new–they are much are apt to stay with us as opposed to driving on by.

    Interestingly enough, Suzanne, I love doing new things, however, I do not like “being new” and feeling like I don’t know what’s happening.  Maybe when I choose to start something new, I am so enthralled with the process, I don’t notice the “being new” aspect of it.  What do you think?  Make sense?

    Best wishes for a terrific weekend.  Aloha.  Janet

    • Janet

      You are so kind – this post was so real as I did not know where the plugs were. I love new when other things are stable but all new creates new challenges; which leads to new successes and more challenges that we want to have. I always feel so awkward when I am new as it is like this big spotlight that says NEW GIRL. I am not really a spotlight person. I loathe redundancy so I seek out new but not everything at once. Then again, people say I thrive most on the new as I jump in and get it all done.

      For marketers and business we hover over the research and that is great but then we  have to think where we as a company are most vunerable and that is from the new folks. Seems like a cycle of sorts as they are new but we are new and new breeds a whole new thinking.