In a previous post I described the 4 different stages of a product life cycle. But what is the most critical one?
The product lauch is probably one of the most important and critical stage of product introduction.
“Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers” is a marketing book by Geoffrey A. Moore that focuses on the specifics of marketing high tech products during the early start up period.
In the technology adoption lifecycle, 4 main segments are recognized:
- Innovators: they seek out novel technology. There aren’t many Innovators, and because they’ll try new things, they are important. Other people see them use new things and feel braver themselves about trying them;
- Early adopters: they are quick to understand the benefits of new technology. Unlike the Innovators, they don’t love technology for its own sake. This group relies on its own intuition and vision to make buying decisions;
- Early majority: they are practical minded consumers. If a product seems useful, this group will try it;
- Late majority: they wait for something to become well established. They don’t feel confident in their ability to deal with technology and often buy from big companies;
- Laggards: they are not looking to buy new technology.
According to Moore, the marketer should focus on one group of customers at a time, using each group as a base for marketing to the next group.
The most difficult step is making the transition between early adopters and early majority. This is the chasm that he refers to.
Moore’s theories are only applicable for disruptive or discontinuous innovations.
The D-Day Analogy
Based that, Moore proposes a “D-Day analogy” strategy on how to cross the chasm safely:
- Select the Point of attack: make a list of potential targets and select the market target
- Select the kind of offer to secure: for a given target customer and a given application, create a marketplace in which your product is the only reasonable buying proposition.
- Look at the landscape to be positioned for success: the major obstacle now is competition. We need to understand who or what competitor is;
- Leaving the chasm behind: the purpose of the post-chasm enterprise is to make money. The enterprise moves from being pioneers to becoming settlers
“Launch” is the most critical stage of a product life cycle for disruptive innovations. You can have the best product ever, but simply this is not enough to be successful.
Are you or is your organization planning to launch an innovative product? Or are you setting up your own business and launch your disruptive services?
Unfortunately, there is no secret recipe.