Once you've developed an excellent breakthrough innovation, the next step is figuring out how to get it adopted. Innovators have created numerous helpful models over the years, but most use the innovation adoption model.
The Innovation Adoption Curve
The innovation adoption model is the framework that lays out the audience, such as the late adopters or early adopters. This framework assumes that you are the innovator trying to sell innovation. Today, we will be laying the framework for innovation adoption. Innovation adoption is a model that classifies the adopters of innovation based on their levels of readiness.
Innovation Adoption Groups
There are specific characteristics and groups when it comes to innovation adoption. The first group is the innovators, who are the risk-takers, willing to be the first ones to try anything. This group is a small segment but is much more prominent in influence. These early innovators are the ones other people tend to follow.
The next group is the early adopters, who are visionaries that rely on their gut and experience. While they aren't on the bleeding edge, they are on the leading edge. Early adopters may not get it right out of the gate but jump aboard shortly after.
Next, the early majority is the more mainstream market segment and is more prominent than both previous groups combined. Those in this group like new innovations but prefer to wait and see if innovation is successful before adopting it. They look at innovations not just because they are new but because they perceive value in them.
Next, the late majority holds the same portion of the market as the early majority. These people only adopt innovation when it is their last option (Ex. people who had Blackberrys as long as possible). This segment is harder to persuade as they don't like to try new things. They have high regard for advice from friends and colleagues but not traditional advertising.
The last group is the laggards, which are the same size as the innovators and early adopters. These people are the naysayers of any change. They only adopt things when it is necessary, and no options are left.
Why is it Important?
It is essential to have a unique strategy for approaching each phase of the innovation adoption curve. This strategy comes from author Geoffrey Moore, a friend who has been on the show multiple times. In his book “Crossing the Chasm, he states the chasm between the early adopters and the early majority. This crossing of the chasm is necessary to have a widely successful innovation. To do that, you have to target the market segments and create some excitement over what you have developed. You can't just advertise or market your way over the chasm. It would be best if you had a strategy to find what will provide that needed momentum.
Geoffrey has another strategy he calls the bowling pins. If you think of bowling pins as different industries and solve one industry's problem, it knocks down a bowling pin. In turn, this will bump into another similar industry problem/bowling pin, and it will get knocked down, thus continuing the cycle. This strategy will create excitement and energy, which will help you cross the chasm. The chasm is the biggest struggle for 99% of innovations that could be breakthroughs. You will fail if you don't develop an approach to cross the chasm. 95% of all innovations fail when they neglect the chasm.
To know more about the importance of the innovation adoption curve, listen to this week's show: Why is The Innovation Adoption Curve Important?