How to change consumer habits and build new categories

Most marketeers are familiar with the product adoption curve, which postulates that customers can be segmented based upon their attitude and behaviour towards new products or technologies.

This framework challenges us to figure out how to get past the “chasm” separating early adopters and the early majority – often a key step towards brand/product success. (This idea was developed by Geoffrey Moore in his book Crossing the Chasm.)

One possibility is to apply the concept of “The Law of the Few” from Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point, in which he describes “Connectors”, who know lots and lots of people, “Mavens”, who acquire knowledge and have a need to share it (like bloggers!) and “Salespeople”, who have strong powers of persuasion.

Until recently, the challenge has been how to find these people in large enough numbers to make a difference. Now a leading FMCG firm has created a website called Vocalpoint – “a community of influential Moms”, to find the intersection set of these three types.
Those who sign up to Vocalpoint are asked to answer questions like how many people they told about the last new product they tried and how many of those people accepted their recommendations.

Members get:
– To tell big companies what theythink.
– Early access to products and samples before their friends.

How could marketeers reach such people in countries with low Internet penetration? Here are a few ideas:
1. Publish a magazine designed for them.
2. Develop advertising that will appeal only to them.
3. Recruit them through local or virtual clubs.
4. Don’t even try to reach them but make it easy for them to find you (to find information about your brand/product/service.)
5. Develop a TV show that will appeal only to them.

There must be many more ways of doing this – do write in or leave a comment if you can suggest one!

1 Comment »

  1. Start an MVNO to provide cellphone service as well as content and feedback forums through their cellphones.

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