Evolving New Products

I came across a summary written by author Rosabeth Moss Kanter (first known to me for Change Masters and When Giants Learn To Dance) after her then latest insights on innovation earlier in the decade, “Evolve!”  Although I do hold an interest in the subject matter generally, this summary struck me as relevant to people specifically selling a new product.

Her 8-point checklist forms part of a drive to achieve what she calls “15 minute competitive advantage”.  This is one path to success that suggests how you can stay slightly ahead of competitors, sourced from researching 785 executives.  There is much written about following game changing innovation dreams, typically through disruptive thinking, so such a message of successful incremental, baby-step innovation is notable by its scarcity.

So, although formed for a different purpose, this suggests to me that you would help propel take-up of any new offering if you can attach it to any of her eight characteristics, each contributing to the mindset that the customer can avoid excessive change:

Provable – preferably allow pilot or small-scale introductory use
Divisible – adopted in segments or phases and in parallel with current solutions
Reversible – if it fails you can easily return to life without it
Tangible – improve the customer’s life in a way it needs/values
Fits Prior Investment – builds on or makes use of sunk costs
Familiar – feels like things customers already understand
Congruent With Future Direction – in line with where customer headed anyway, no rethinking required
Publicity Value – makes customer look better to itself and others

Subscribe to Salespodder

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.