In 2016, consumers are more willing to try new things and are adopting technologies at an ever increasing speed. This phenomenon is called hyperadoption, a term coined by Forrester Analyst James McQuivey this past year. Hyperadoption means the rapid and simultaneous uptake of unprecedented behaviors, and it is defining both the customer experience and challenges faced by marketers. This trend is predicted to become even more relevant in the years to come.
The creation of the World Wide Web and the launch of the online shopping experience helped usher in the first hyperadoption craze. Do you remember your first introduction to the Internet? Recall realizing the ease and efficiency of shopping online for what you needed compared with visiting a brick-and-mortar store. Suddenly, consumers had more at their fingertips. In the last couple of decades alone, thousands of innovations have been successfully launched thanks to hyperadoption, and millions of users of services like Uber and Airbnb have signed up.
Why Do Customers Hyperadopt?
Many tech crazes, like wearable devices, have emerged over the years. What encourages consumers to adopt new technologies so quickly? Forrester has determined that there are two psychological reasons why hyperadoption occurs. First, adopting new things no longer costs as much as it did in the past. Second, today marketers can offer benefits that easily overcome any loss aversion. All this hyperadoption means that in the years to come, connectivity, cloud architecture, big data analytics and artificial intelligence will influence how we:
- Protect and control our physical world
- Interact with technology
- Maintain our well-being
- Connect with each other
We can already see hints of this in the Internet of Things market.
Tips for Marketing Success
Though filled with promise, hyperadoption creates a challenge for marketers. It is an environment where consumers are so quick to try — and discard — new digital experiences. If a consumer fails to connect with your product, they will simply move on to the next thing. To compete in the face of this disruption, there are a few tactics that marketers can do to ensure that their brand survives the era of hyperadoption.
Tip 1: Reduce the risk of trying your product
It is possible to build experiences with your brand that are free or nearly free. When you decrease the cost, you naturally decrease the risk for consumers to try your product in terms of their investment of dollars, time and privacy. With the risk of trying your product reduced, consumption of your product increases. A great example of this is WhatsApp. By offering this service for free, this app has reduced the risk of trying it. When you reduce the risk of new behaviors for customers, they lose less with a negative outcome and gain more from a positive outcome. This increases consumer interest and adoption, creating a network effect that fuels hyperadoption.
Tip 2: Focus on doing only one thing very well
Positioning your brand to do too many things well makes it difficult for customers to perceive your brand’s value, and it puts cognitive stress on the consumer. Airbnb, for example, has found success enabling anyone with a spare mattress or room to run their own bed and breakfast. YouTube receives more views than any traditional TV channel. And there is Wikipedia, which has created the world’s largest repository of knowledge. Each of these companies has succeeded by focusing on their differentiator and building out one key piece of functionality well. Simply adding new features doesn’t increase value and make a product more appealing; it adds complexity to your message and the user experience.
Tip 3: Continually add value and new experiences
According to Forrester, one challenge for marketers today is the fact that consumers connect less emotionally to new products. In the past, adoption decisions happened after thoughtful consideration (i.e. read reviews, discussed with friends, viewed a demo, etc.), and then consumers discovered the value and developed an emotional connection. Consumers use less of these channels now when making adoption decisions, meaning less emotional energy is used. But creating a product/service ecosystem is one way to create value and retain customers. Consider the ecosystem that both Apple and Nest have created within their product line. Once you purchase a product within the Nest ecosystem (say, the connected thermostat) and connect it with another Nest product, you create an ecosystem of connected devices that add even more value through their connectivity.
Tip 4: Take caution — hyperadoption can lead to hyperabandonment
No matter how consistently your brand delivers value and positive new experiences to your customers, hyperabandonment—fleeing a brand as quickly as joined—is a possibility. High rates of abandonment are evidence that consumers are willing to try new low-cost experiences without buyer’s remorse. For example, consumers lose interest in apps and barely use the majority they have downloaded. How can you keep this fast-moving group connected with your brand? Use speed and responsiveness to stay ahead of their needs and expectations. Continually reacquire your audience’s attention by responding to their needs and rapidly adding to the product experience, and become hyper-responsive to invite your customers to experience these new outcomes.
The era of hyperadoption is here and is something all marketers need to embrace. Consumers will be offered an unprecedented number of exciting, interesting and useful products and services, many at little to no cost. And brands will be challenged to maintain relevancy with giving customers what they want in a world of stiff competition. Marketers who anticipate and strategize on the outcomes consumers demand of their brand will survive (and thrive) in this new era.
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