From Nerds to Laggards

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From Nerds to Laggards


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What kind of innovation client are you?

You’ve worked hard and long and you feel your are DONE and yet, something happens and you don’t understand why people are not jumping at the opportunity to get that wonderful innovation.

Chances are that there is nothing wrong with YOUR message but with YOUR audience.
The best way to explore the types of clients for innovations is to think about them as if you were a client. Chances are that for some areas you act as a nerd, visionary, pragmatic, conservative, or laggard.

Nerds are technology enthusiasts. They are the first people to adopt any new technology and love to test things. They want the real facts, and will tell you –and others- what works, what doesn’t work, and many even will help fix it! Think user’s forum! Free advice. Now, Nerds will promote your technology or thrash it, but they will not pay massive amount of money for it. Even worse, if you show your fancy brochure they would think you are wasting their money on decorations!

Use Nerds to test your innovation and improve it!

Visionaries are user’s enthusiasts. They are passionate about discovering a way to use something new to keep their image as the discoverers of new applications. They will LOVE a flashy brochure and will most likely dismiss any comments from the Nerds. Visionaries will showcase your innovation specially if they are the first ones, have special privileges or access to special or unique features made just for them. They will pay TOP dollars but they are few in numbers and want exclusivity.

Use visionaries as endorsements and keep the momentum, focus on exclusivity for a while. These are demanding clients, but they will pay top prizes. Chances are you can’t satisfy a large crowd anyways.

Pragamatics are pulled users – they don’t want to be left behind. They expect continuous and not breakthrough innovations. They tend to follow visionaries when innovations have been widely accepted and improved. They like fair prices, clear content, and mainstream formats. They create the majority of clients for tested yet new products (think iphone nowadays) and they like comparisons.

Use pragmatic to sell simplified versions on your innovations and build up a massive revenue stream. Connect them with Q & A online and standardize processes, they don’t like surprises – mostly. And they don’t want the new gadget.

Conservatives are pushed users – they can’t afford to be left behind. They tend to follow pragmatics and will make a purchasing decision only when they feel they have no alternative. They are very sensitive to price but demand very little support. After all, chances are that they will search online or will be convinced to buy by another person. A conservative becomes your client when they have no alternative. They require very little after sale support therefore are quite profitable.

Use conservatives to expand the life cycle of your innovation. Chances are that they are using other older technologies and that they do not need many of the improvements of the new versions you are offering. Many companies forget about conservatives so there are many opportunities in that segment.

Laggards will never buy your product and most likely will never use them. Don’t waste your resources on laggards; they have other interests and needs.

How to use this information?

Just for fun do a test around with your innovation and try to pick up which of your friends behaves in one way or the other. You don’t sell to one the way you sell to another and sometimes to enter one segment you have need a good grasp on the previous segment.

Comments? Get onto our blog.

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About the Author:

Alicia Castillo Holley is an international speaker and researcher on innovation, entrepreneurship, and venture capital.


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