Discuss the significance of "newness” in new products and in services as it relates to the degree of consumer learning involved, give examples.
It’s been a week that I have been trying to figure out the features and function of a smartwatch and know how to use it. The product, though old to the market is still new to me, who has seen and used only traditional watch. The Smart watch has to be connected to phone via Bluetooth, has to be integrated with app and whole lot of hassle to try out. On the other hand, sometimes the instruction manuals also limits in information regarding the use of it to the customers like me. This “newness” in the product however will remain only for a few days and if it stretches any further with no learning, I am most likely to dis-own the product. This is not the first case, it also happened with the iPad I used years earlier, where I faced problem regarding apps download due to requirement of account validation needing credit card information prior to the download.
The new product requires a degree of learning every time. However, there can be different innovation, according to which the learnings might vary. Leigh Cowan, in his article “New product innovation and Launching strategies” has described 3 types of innovation, namely: Continuous innovation, Dynamic continuous innovation and Discontinuous innovation.
Continuous innovation is simply the new model of the same thing with a minor change. The customers might not need to learn a new things for this innovation. For example, Honda’s Dio model has been seen in different outlooks however, the basic of the scooter remains the same and the customer doesn’t have to learn new things with each models. This innovation is made withing the company’s existing technological competences and also first in current business model and customer base. So, if there are small changes, the customer might not have to go through the detailed learnings of it. Say, the lock of recent dio’s model might have been shifted from back to the sides, which might not need a lot of learning involved by the customers.
Dynamically Continuous innovation is the another model of innovation, where two distinct products or concepts are combined and people have to go through the learning curve but have understanding of the idea. This is also a kind of sustainable innovation, where we know what the problem is and how it can be solved from the capabilities in the existing market and design thinking might be important in this phase. Say, Hybrid cars and bikes can be good example of it. People know how electric-vehicle and gas-vehicle works, combination of both in one might be a Dynamically continuous innovation, where people might need new learning but they know how to operate it eventually. Even taking electric bikes, as an example, one know to use cycle or use (electric) motor-bikes, the electric cycle is just fusion of it and not something very different.
Discontinuos innovation is that requires new experience, understanding and learning to use the product properly. Smartwatch, mentioned above can be one of such innovation which needs many technicalities though it looks just like a watch. Here, I had to learn a lot of things to use it.
Having said this, good communication by the sales person, their sales intention anda good product launch has an impact on increasing new product sales. A sales person must have technical skills and good persuation to familarize a new product. Notwitstanding, people are more likely to buy a product when others start using them so, bringing testimonials and good endorsement is also likely to boost the sales and intrigue familiarization of a new product by desire by boosting desire to use the product.