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Q: Familiarity ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Familiarity
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: qpet-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 17 Mar 2003 07:27 PST
Expires: 16 Apr 2003 08:27 PDT
Question ID: 177321
Why do people return to the same places, prefer to shop at stores they
know, buy more expansive brand names, in short, why do humans(and
maybe animals too)
prefer the familiar?
Subject: Re: Familiarity
Answered By: bobbie7-ga on 17 Mar 2003 11:03 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hello Qpet and thank you for your question.

Confidence, trust and comfort are the main reasons for people to
prefer the familiar. Fear of the unknown and having things under
control can be attributed to this as well.


If you are familiar with a certain brand of clothing or product you
perceive less risk and are more confident in the product.

“Consumers would much rather buy products they have heard of than
"take a chance" on the unknown. (..) We still prefer Budweiser, Tide,
Goodyear and IBM to competing products that are not advertised. If we
haven't "heard of it," we tend to be suspicious. Familiarity breeds
confidence and comfort.”

Emotional Freedom Techniques


Familiarity breeds confidence. 

“When you go to the same coffee shops, classes, clubs, meetings you
will become more comfortable. The surroundings, the people, the
activities and the people will become familiar and you will function


Name Recognition or Product Branding

“Buyers who recognize a product, purport marketing experts, are more
likely to buy the same product again. Familiarity breeds confidence.”


Familiarity in advertising creates confidence: 

“Celebrities and famous people get paid well to tout products in media
ads. You see familiar faces frequently giving personal testimonials in
television commercials. Not only do these well-known names and faces
strike recognition in the minds and hearts of listeners, they add
credibility along with a comfortable friendly feeling.


So why do big companies pay big bucks to create familiarity in
advertising or even in entertainment? Because it sells products.”

Press release Writing


People feel comfortable with familiarity: 

 “For many people, it's more comfortable to dine within the mundane
and recognizable walls of a nearby Subway than to test out an unknown
local sandwich shop. Familiarity and provincialism are tendencies that
are exploited by corporate chains. Why else would some North Americans
feel the need to stop in at the Moscow McDonald's on their way to Red



“There are several factors that drive experiential shoppers to a site.
A main driver is brand. Some 82% of online consumers have said that
knowing a products brand name would be important or very important in
their decision to buy online. Another 79% said that familiarity with
their online retailer was important or very important. Consumers have
a greater degree of trust with brands that have proven degrees of


In a sermon by Dr. Pritchard he discusses how familiarity helps you
feel you have things under control.

“At my age, this promise of newness every morning is at best a mixed
blessing. I have come to the point in life where I really don’t want
anything new in the morning. I want my slippers right beneath my bed
where I left them the night before. I want my orange juice and bran
flakes for breakfast, as normal. In my advanced years, I can do
without a lot of newness, especially in the morning.

Most of us-not just the elderly-"really don’t want anything new in the
morning." We prefer the comfortable familiarity of routines: we want
things to be settled and under control. We like to know where we are
and who we are and, all going well; we want things to stay that way.”

Source: Kirk in the Hills


People prefer familiarity to the uncertainty of the unknown:

“If change is so beneficial why is it so difficult for humans to go
through it? This can be easily explained.  No matter how uncomfortable
our current circumstances are we know where we're at.  When the winds
of change blow through our life, it becomes very difficult to predict
where we will end up.  We prefer the familiarity of the known to the
uncertainty of the unknown.”

Alaska Net: Motivation and Transition


In the book “The Secret of the Shadow: The Power of Owning Your Whole
Story”, the author, Debbie Ford mentions how familiarity is often
mistaken for safety.

 “Our fear of change, our fear of stepping into new realities, is so
deep that we desperately cling to the world we know. We often mistake
familiarity for safety. The perceived comfort we derive from what is
familiar keeps us living in the illusion of our stories. But the
question we should ponder is, Are we really safe inside our stories?
Instead of risking change, we hold on for dear life and resist the
uncertainty of the unknown.”

Planet Light Worker: Book Review


“When love ceases in a relationship, familiarity and comfort are what
keep many couples together. Familiarity and comfort are the worst
reasons to stay together.”

Source: Art of Loving


Russell P. Friedman and John W. James in their article “Exploring The
"F" Words”:

“Familiar is not necessarily good, it is only familiar. Comfortable is
not necessarily good, it is often just familiar. The old cliché,
"better the devil I know then the devil I don't know," almost explains
our loyalty to the familiarity of Pain, Isolation and Loneliness.
Change can be difficult and awkward at the best of times, and it is
clearly difficult for grieving people for whom the whole universe may
seem upside down.


"Familiarity can create a powerful illusion that change is not
necessary, that growth is not possible." You must fight off the
illusion of comfort caused by familiarity. It is not your nature to
live a life of Pain, Isolation and Loneliness. It is your nature to be
loving and lovable, trusting and trustable. Practicing the principles
of grief recovery will help you become familiar with your natural
ability to be happy.
The Grief Recovery Institute: Familiarity


To what extent does fear rule your life?

In my coaching practice, fear often emerges when clients envision
change and take steps to bring those changes into reality. Familiarity
fosters comfort and safety -- therefore, growth may be perceived as


“Individuals with a conservative style like to adhere to existing
rules and procedures, minimize change, avoid ambiguous situations
where possible, and prefer familiarity in life and work.”

Adaptive Technology Resource Centre


A familiar routine makes you feel more confident in yourself.

“Having a consistent routine that is your own lends confidence to your
outlook no matter where you are, who you are playing, or how you are

“Familiarity breeds confidence in your abilities.”

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I hope this response has provided you with the information you were

Best Regards,

Request for Answer Clarification by qpet-ga on 17 Mar 2003 18:29 PST
Sorry ,should have been 5 stars, made a mistake.

Clarification of Answer by bobbie7-ga on 17 Mar 2003 18:50 PST
That's OK Qpet and thanks for the nice comment and the tip!
qpet-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $10.00
One of teh best answeres so far, thank you!

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