Like Moths to A Bright Light
A Case Study review of how Advivo Innovation & Commercialisation Partners used disruption theory to attract early adopters when launching a new product to market.
Have you ever been intrigued to watch the moths and insects become fascinated with a bright light? Now, it is not our intention to go into the scientific reasoning behind this, but when launching a new innovative product, this is the attention that we are all hoping to gain. However, while it is good to dream of the market being like the moths and being so attracted to your solution that they just cannot bare to take their eyes of your new product, the reality is almost always very different.
Like studying moths to understand why they are drawn to the light, the process of launching a new innovative product is a scientific one where you can control the probabilities of success. In this blog, we wish to share with you an example of how early adoption was gained in one of our projects. While growth and profitability come from the scaling and maturing phase of any new product launch, early adoption is the key to learning specifically what the market wants, needs and values.
Defining the type of innovation
Recently we worked on a project (which must remain commercial in confidence at the time of writing this) that from its conceptual phase, we defined as being ‘a disruptive innovation’. There are two types of new innovations:
1) a sustaining innovation, an enhancement of an existing product that makes it ‘better’ in its performance and
2) a disruptive innovation. A disruptive innovation is one that literally disrupts the supply chain and changes the way the ‘job is done’. By analysing the impact on the current workflow practices in the market, we were able to predict that this innovative idea would considerably disrupt the way the work would be done, as it automated human processes. Defining the type of innovation is critical in planning the market entry strategy.
Defining the market entry target market
For many of us, when we see how much efficiency will be gained from a disruptive innovation, it appears logical that every business would want this solution. However, there are reasons why not everyone will see things the same way. In our case study, we were able to predict that in fact, the high-end market was likely to have many barriers to adoption. We see it often; large organisations (the high end) have workflow practices that are quite fixed; disrupting them is not always welcomed. Think about it; automating processes that are currently performed by humans results in a range of ‘emotional’ and ‘social’ consequences (two key elements in defining the Job To Be Done). Firstly, the initial response from those currently performing the tasks would be fear for their jobs (even though this innovation would in fact free up time for reallocation of workers to more highly skilled tasks that automation is unable to perform now). Supervisors of these jobs would also see a threat to their ‘norm’ and possibly their job. Further up the ladder within a corporate environment, changes in internal processes can create the need for redesigning workflow processes, headaches with redundancies, unions and uneasy workplace moral, all resulting in further reluctance to adopt. How could we change their minds? Initially, by turning away from them and pivoting the market entry target market to really understand WHO in the market would be most motivated to embrace this automation. In this way we were led to define a totally different segment of the market.
Creating an Early Adopter Program
Our data science processes are capable of mapping the entire market. With this knowledge, we were able to identify some very specific market segments where the Job To Be Done was defined. Through interviews with this different market segment, we learnt that they had a very specific problem that took weeks for them to perform. Knowing that our client’s innovative solution brought this task down to hours, we were able to identify a highly motivated segment of the market who would not only want and need the innovative solution, but would value it sufficiently to not only pay, but to accept that it is a ‘minimum viable product’. You see, they did not care about how pretty it looked; they didn’t care about whether it had lots of other features; they just wanted to know that it could automate a job function ‘well enough’ (it would do the very specific job accurately and in an incredibly time-efficient way compared to humans) to provide them with the information that they needed.
From this, we were able to create customer personas we felt would be motivated in this market segment and then approach a small group to become ‘early adopters’. When told about what it was that we were working on, the enthusiasm of this market segment to give up their time to help us learn and improve the capability of the new innovative product was very high.
Of course, in recognising the enormous value that these early adopters provide to the project, a special offer was designed that provided motivation and incentives for the businesses to participate. As a reward for the generous feedback, they would receive discounted pricing for a number of years, have access to new features ahead of the wider market (giving them a competitive advantage) and be at the forefront of technology, providing them with a new value proposition to their clients.
At Advivo Innovation and Commercialisation Partners, we have studied disruption theory extensively. The ability to use data science to more succinctly map your market penetration enables you to launch your new product softly, into very defined market segments that enable you to gain adoption through early adopter programs. This in turn provides you with a ‘live’ testing ground of enthusiastic users. They can provide you with incredible insights as to what the job to be done really is, and what the emotional and social factors are going to be for you to cross the chasm into the wider market launch.
If you would like to learn more about how to scientifically develop a Product Launch campaign that will increase your probability of success, then simply click here and one of our skilled consultants will be happy to initiate a discussion with you.
Advivo ICP has recognised that many businesses have a job to be done in initially identifying their probability of success of a new product launch. Therefore, we have constructed a ‘Product Launch Diagnostic Tool’, still in a minimum viable product stage, that is ready to be introduced to your business.
If you would like to be a part of our early adopter program and receive a free diagnostic tool consultation, please register below and we will contact you to arrange a 30 min video call to complete the diagnosis and assess your idea’s probability of success.