Terminology, Marketing and Overcoming fear of the unknown

Seth Godin describes a woman who refuses to experiment with a new foodstuff.

He talks about how little cost it would be to her to eat it. I suspect that he simply has different values for the cost of getting sick, the cost of feeling like an idiot because you ate something called a “fungus” and then got sick. Different people feel shame and embarrassment far more deeply and easily than Seth does.

But that’s not why I wrote this. On the way in to work, I was musing over this topic and I realized – what if, instead of being called a fungus, it was called a mushroom? I know that I would hesitate to eat something called a fungus, simply because Athelete’s Foot is the first concept I associate with fungus.

Mushroom? Much more familiar. No one would think I was an idiot for trying out a tortilla filled with mushrooms. If I called my dad from the hospital and said “I got sick from a mushroom tortilla”, he wouldn’t respond with “Well, I guess you shouldn’t have eaten something with the word ‘mushroom’ in it, huh?”.


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