Innovation Curve

Innovation Curve

What is the Innovation Curve story tactic?

Make your bold new idea seem less risky.

People will say "No!" to your new ideas if they feel the risk is too high for them. But each person you meet has a different setting on their risk "thermostat". You can try slightly different stories about your project, depending on whether you're talking to a Pioneer, Mainstream or Traditional audience.

Try this tactic as part of an Audience Profile workshop or to develop Simple Sales Stories.

How to use the Innovation Curve story tactic

Innovation Curve chart

Innovators: this is you and your team.

Pioneers: are your first customers. They are adventurous with a high tolerance for risk. They may beta-test your idea with you.

  • Hopes: this is new and exciting
  • Fears: "innovator tax" i.e. the costs of being first
  • Tell them: stories about your process, breakthroughs and prototypes

Early Mainstream: open to new ideas but aware of the pitfalls. They can be great "influencers" on later buyers.

  • Hopes: this is new but has been tested
  • Fears: reputation damage if l endorse a flop
  • Tell them: you can grab a lead in a niche market

Late Mainstream: want to buy a fully developed product, off the shelf.

  • Hopes: this is ready and recommended by others
  • Fears: cost of disruption to business-as-usual
  • Tell them: it works in a niche market, now it's ready for mass market

Traditional: regard all innovation as high risk, they need to see other mainstream adopters to feel safe.

  • Hopes: don't want to miss out
  • Fears: there are costs to being left behind
  • Tell them: everyone is doing it, we've made it easy

Credit: E.Rogers, Diffusion of Innovations.

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Innovation Curve is one of 54 storytelling recipe cards inside the Storyteller Tactics card deck.

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