Despite the fact that business and advertising classes and textbooks tell us that the first stage in the consumer decision-making process is identifying a need, there are certainly instances when consumers don’t know they have a need. That’s where innovators can have an edge.
Lee E. Miller and Kathleen Hayes Onieal recently wrote a blog post for Harvard Business Review called “Getting People to Believe in Something They Can’t Yet Imagine.” In the blog post, Miller and Onieal discuss the fate that often befalls new, groundbreaking innovations: Nobody believes they will catch on! The very fact that something is so revolutionary and unheard of often makes getting buy-in from key decision-makers next to impossible. The authors point out some of the reasons for this, including organizational inertia, fear of change, financial disincentives and fear of failure, among others.
So what can be done to overcome these obvious challenges? Certainly, companies introduce innovative products and services all the time. What makes the champions of change within those organizations succeed? Miller and Onieal point to several paths to success: (more…)