Product Development – How to Find Early Adopters

Can power users make or break a new product, even before it hits the shelves? When developing your marketing plan, give some consideration to how power users (usually the early adopters) will relate to your product. Why is this important?

Power users, especially if they have a blog, social capital, or newspaper column, will be the first to review your product. And their reviews – good or bad – tend to set the tone for those who follow.

Marketing Plan Template

Pricing Strategy

5 Considerations when Marketing to Early Adopters

How can you blend your marketing and product development to increase user adoption, especially for those early adopters?

These are likely to champion your product before it goes main-stream and evangelize your offering, which is great. If they’re positive…

Geoffrey Moore covered this in Crossing the Chasm and Inside the Tornado. Has anything changed since then?

Let’s look at the key drivers that impact the adoption of a new product.

  1. Complexity – make it simple to understand. In one sentence. Write an elevator pitch. Complex new products rarely get adopted. It’s too hard for marketing to define it, which means that the sales team can’t sell it. Clarify what it does and who wants it. Make product descriptions short. Avoid buzzwords, clichés and waffle. No synergy, ok 🙂
  2. Compatibility – how does it fit in with the target customers’ product line? Give examples where it works with case studies, use cases and scenarios. Paint a picture. Help them see how it will work for them.
  3. Advantage – how much does the new product improve upon existing offering (or doing nothing). Demonstrate the benefits in quantifiable terms. Don’t say ‘your product is “faster” – which is meaningless – rather say you can “improve production output by 225%.”’ And then show how!
  4. Try Before you Buy – make it easy to take for a test run. Help customers to sign up and get started – talk about payments later. Besides downloads, you can offer screencasts, flash demos and videos to get them onside.
  5. Monitor – develop outposts on Social Media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr where ‘fans’ can discuss your product and give their verdict. Be prepared: there not there to flatter you! When you do engage, discuss how your product is better value than rivals by going thru the pain points that get raised.


What have we missed here?

How do you get your products to markets? What mistakes do people make when launching a new product?

Fire away here.