I have worked on a fair number of projects in my time where the adoption of new technology and new concepts was a key question. It is something that has always fascinated me – what happens when a new technology or a new brand gets launched in the market? What makes the difference between success and failure? And, how does the psychology of the consumer drive that process?
Technology moves fast these days. It seems barely a month goes by without hearing news of the launch of some new product or new technological advantage that will be “the next big thing”.
Just think how such things as the mobile devices and online shopping have transformed our society in such a short period of time. Just 20 years ago there were no Smartphones and the greater majority of people, even in the developed world, did not even have internet access, let alone shop online.
What next? Potentially game changing new innovations such as electric vehicles, virtual reality, robotics and the “Internet of Things” could all potentially have an impact just as dramatic on the way we live over the coming decade. But which ones will make the biggest difference the fastest? Almost as importantly, which brands will be the winners and losers?
Part of the answer comes back to a theory for
the adoption of new ideas that has been around for a long time – the theory of
diffusion of innovations, which first introduced by Everett Rogers in
Whilst the theory has been around for a long time, we often take it for granted these days. Perhaps it is time we revisited it with fresh eyes.
Here are some observations and questions it raises in my mind:
These are questions which greatly interest me & which I plan to investigate in more detail in a future series of articles drawing on some of our own past research in search of some answers.
Paul Watts is a Director at Morar HPI. Paul has considerable experience in designing and managing research projects and using analytical techniques to uncover genuine insight into consumer behaviour. Paul has a keen interest in how new technology and new ideas get adopted.