"I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones." - John Cage
In my early days as a planner, I remember reading an article by Steve Henry (then of HHCL, now at TBWA London), where he gave his opinion on strategy and effective commsunication. The words that stuck with me were "what is = what was" and this simple statement has deeply affected the way that I think about brands and communications.
If we want to cut through the 3000+ messages that the average consumer is exposed to every day, we need to stand out. We need to be different. Merely adhering to the tried and (research) tested category cues won't work.
By definition, new ideas are scary. No one has done them before, so you don't have a convenient case study. Qual research is unlikely to help, as people tend to be uncomfortable about the unfamiliar.
But this is no excuse.
Be brave, be bold and find a way to help your clients be likewise.
...which, of course, is the tricky part:
"No amount of sophistication is going to allay the fact that all your knowledge is about the past and all your decisions are about the future." - Ian E. Wilson