9.1.4 How to optimise and control the acceptance of an innovative product or service

The process

The marketing process which aims at the profitable commercialization of the innovation is shown in the following flow chart: Graph 1: Marketing process1

This is the process you or your organisation should follow in order to successfully commercialize an innovative product or service. This is the ideal marketing process which can be amended and adopted by organisations according to their size, resources availability, specific objective, etc. An SME might not be able to fully implement all steps but should have an overview of the procedure and be aware of as much as possible the best marketing tools to choose.

Let’s explain in detail all stages of this process:
The process breaks the new product into discrete and identifiable stages. Initial screening means overview or screening of the idea and second screen represents overview of idea after preliminary investigation. After having conducted the preliminary investigation, the idea is filtered more in order to be evaluated. If it is valuable, we proceed to next stages.  Each stage is designed to gather the information needed to progress the project to the next gate or decision point.

Each stage is multifunctional: there is no R & D stage or marketing stage. Each stage consists of a set of parallel activities undertaken by people from a variety of functional areas within the organisation. These activities are designed to gather information and drive the uncertainties down. Each stage costs more than the preceding one. In general the plan is an incremental commitment which means that as we proceed through this process each stage needs more effort, support and resources than the preceding one. 2,3

Marketing activities before production

For more information click at a step please

Marketing activities after product production

Revision of the marketing plan throughout the
product life cycle.
After product production, the marketing expert should continue controlling the product’s acceptance by the customers. You need to continue to track consumers’ needs, their reaction and buying behaviour, their opinion of the product and the product’s position in their mind.
For example, you might discover that having a product that is low in price relative to other competitors, makes the customer perceive the product as one of low quality. This will make you revise the marketing plan and change the marketing mix in order to better target and position the product to achieve the marketing objectives.

During the different stages of the product’s life cycle (PLC) you should use different marketing mixes in order to gain the maximum customers’ acceptance of the product.

You can use the Boston Matrix (please look at the glossary) to check the product’s stage. For each phase of the product’s life cycle you should use a different marketing mix. In order to get detailed information about the different strategies at different stages of a product’s life cycle please see the further reading section in the bibliography for relevant sources.

Parameters and barriers to consumer acceptance

There are some basic characteristics that appear to influence consumer acceptance of innovation. Among them are: 

 Table 3 Parameters and barriers to consumer acceptance4

Could you now imagine and explain if and how some of these characteristics could influence your organization’s product acceptance when introducing it to the market? What would your organisation do in each of these situations?

Pitfalls to avoid:

  • Determine a consumer need for a new brand before attempting to fill a market segment that is underdeveloped by your company
  • Be certain that technological advancements are focused on improved and acceptable consumer benefits
  • Do not rationalize a unique selling feature that will not exist in the consumer’s mind
  • Use common sense and judgment when reviewing statistical analysis
  • Do not rely on advertising execution alone to sell a new product to customers
  • Realize the benefits and limitations of consumer research
  • New product attributes must have clear-cut end benefits to the customer and
  • Beware of over analysis because it can delay new product development and interfere with understanding the customer.

1 www.urenio.org/rsi/rsi_tool_marketing.php
2 Komninos, Nikos; Kirgiafini, Lina; Sefertzi, Elena, (2001), Technologies for developing innovation
3 www.urenio.org/rsi/rsi_tool_marketing.php
4 Herbig, Paul A., Day, Raulph L., 1992, “Customer Acceptance: The Key to Successful Introductions of Innovations”, Jamie Anderson; Costas Markides, 2007, “Strategic Innovation at the Base of the Pyramid”