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Will they, won’t they? Can you predict market appeal of your innovation and mitigate risk?

Ideally, you’ll have uncovered the opportunity space for your planned innovation, and identified the leading edge consumers who provide a guide to the likely success of your investment.  What comes next? All innovation involves risk, and you need to balance the investment and resource you’ve channelled into its development against robust measurement of the potential future value.

Future market value cannot be accurately gauged by current value alone, and estimating the likely adoption of your innovation based solely on conventional segmentation approaches can also be limited by a ‘present day’ bias. So at GfK we propose a radical rethink of the way we profile and size future opportunity spaces in the market, to go beyond current consumer demographics, attitudes and behaviours to segment around the emerging benefit propositions which will have future appeal and relevance.

Some innovations will be eagerly taken up by the early adopters – the highly engaged and proactive consumers who eagerly watch out for and anticipate new developments in the marketplace. And some innovations will stay within this group, never making it further into the mass market. You can mitigate this possibility by watching and understanding the tipping points at which leading edge consumers react to the news they receive and their behaviour around emerging benefit propositions. Then you’ll gain a good idea of whether your planned innovation will diffuse further into other segments by looking at the next group of consumers, the early majority, and how their behaviour compares and contrasts with the leading edge group.

Whilst innovation will always be a risk, your depth of understanding about how your consumers behave and react will lead to a much more robust investment strategy.

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