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7/21/2014 at 11:14 AM
Overcoming Resistance to Innovation
So you have innovated your product or service, improving it in a way you know will move the needle in a positive way.  The question now becomes: How do you get your customer to buy into your innovation?  

There are plenty of examples of out there of companies that have innovated their product, brought it to market, and then have it fail miserably - New Coke and the Ford Edsel are two examples. These products did not take into consideration that successful adoption requires their customers to change their beliefs or behaviors. Far too often people resist change, even when it is for the better. 

An MIT Sloan Management Review discusses 5 consumer barriers for resisting innovation:

  1. The innovation may not be compatible with existing workflows and practices; customers may prefer the status quo if the innovation requires learning new skills or altering long-ingrained routines. 
  2. Customers view the innovation as being too risky and postpone adoption until the risk is mitigated - either by new knowledge or through the experiences of others who have shown that the innovation is safe.
  3. The innovation requires a customer to deviate from established social norms and traditions. 
  4. A negative product image, whether deserved or undeserved, can produce a barrier to adoption.
Customers do not understand the value of the innovation. 

So, how do you keep your customers behaviors in mind as you are innovating to avoid these barriers? Adjacent To One, the team behind Mother May I, recommends consistently testing your product or service to see how customers react and where they find issues or concerns with the changes you are rolling out.  This testing allows you to react earlier in the product lifecycle and adapt faster to customers needs to increase your chance of success.  

How have you overcome resistance to innovation with your products or services?  


Meet the Moms

& Their Projects
Kathleen Chromicz

Villages Innovate Kathleen is a teacher committed to Service Learning concerning global issues. She is a mother to two grown men who she regularly video conferences with just so they can keep up with her.

Adjacent To One

Digital Commuter Strategy Our big idea is to use digital technology to improve and streamline the end-to-end experience of New York City's public transportation system. We're on the hunt for a mom who is as passionate as we are about innovation in public transportation. 

Past Moms

Science Matters, Ameeta Mukherjee

Ameeta is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, and worked as an engineer and scientist in Silicon Valley for over 15 years. She lives in California with her husband and two young boys.