Posted by White Rhino

Congratulations on your truly remarkable innovation!

But here's the blunt truth: most new products, regardless of their brilliance, innovation, or potential to improve lives, ultimately fail. Innovators often clearly envision a world where their creation dominates the market, headlines and makes them rich along the way. However, this outcome is all too rare.

Consider MP3 players. Remember the MPman F10, the Rio, or the Creative Nomad Jukebox? Neither do I. But we all vividly recall the iPod – which came after many other similar products.

Why do many excellent products, services, or technologies falter while sometimes inferior ones succeed? It's because they attempt the impossible—they aim to capture everyone's attention. In doing so, they stumble into what Geoffrey Moore famously termed "the chasm"—a vast void between early adopters and the broader market. It's where promising ideas meet their demise.

You might argue, "But this new product is genuinely incredible!" However, two significant obstacles stand in your way. First, we're all bombarded with messages incessantly from all directions, forcing us to tune most of them out – making it nearly impossible to gain attention. Second, gaining acceptance for a new idea means challenging entrenched habits—a notoriously difficult feat.

Bridge the chasm by working smarter, not harder.

Forget targeting the masses; focus on the influential few—the "sneezers," as Seth Godin terms them. These are the carefully chosen trendsetters with the social sway and networks to spread remarkable new ideas through word of mouth alone. That's why many brands enlist "influencers" to endorse their products. 

the chasm

While that may conjure images of social media celebrities, for medical devices or B2B offerings, it shouldn’t. These influencers must be chosen with care and are very likely normal, well respected people with a penchant and passion for sharing exciting new things with their networks. Your task is not only to identify them but also to ignite their excitement about your product so they can't resist sharing it with their extended network. Peer endorsements carry immense social power and can drive significant behavior change—a force far more persuasive than any marketing pitch alone.

This doesn't mean abandoning marketing altogether. On the contrary, it requires a deep understanding of what motivates these influencers psychologically. Why? Because psychology is the pathway to forging emotional connections—and emotions, not features or technologies, drive sales. Discover what motivates them, what constitutes a perfect day for them, what they strive to avoid at all costs, and what obstacles they encounter. 

Armed with these insights, you and a team of seasoned marketers can craft meticulously orchestrated and compelling integrated messaging and storytelling designed to elicit a “Wow moment” from the sneezers—not everyone.

Once they embrace your product, they’ll champion it and bring the masses along for the ride, who will now pay attention to your marketing. While they spread the word, you can relish in the satisfaction of knowing that your innovation is making waves, all while you kick back, relax, and enjoy your playlist. With their support, your product will navigate the complexities of the market, leaving a lasting impact on those it serves.