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Diffusion of Innovation

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An "innovation" is perceived to be any "new" product. One crucial issue to marketers is whether or not a new product will be bought (and repurchased) by consumers, and what factors about the "innovation" (or new product) will affect that behavior? Are there actions that marketers can take in advance of the introduction of this innovation that will help not only speed up the sales but also encourage sales from more consumers?

1. The Smart car is manufactured by Mercedes, and is currently sold here in a modified version (the emissions system has been modified by a separate company - ZAP). However, Smart cars are widely available outside the US, and Mercedes has announced plans to sell this car in the US in the near future.

The Smart car is somewhat of a different design that other cars in the US. Read about it and see it on these websites: http://usa.smart.com or at www.zapworld.com or on any of the other websites you can find through your favorite search engine.
Sales for the Smart car have been dismal in the US. What might it be about this car that has slowed down or negatively impacted those sales?

2. Many in the publishing industry as well as in the academic industry predict that readers (that includes the group you belong to - students) will increasingly desire to read books online. This is primarily due to the cost of publishing books which leads to higher prices of books. In the textbook world, as you well know, textbooks are revised at least every two years making the out of date book of no resale value. What is it about online books that will speed up or slow down the rate at which consumers adopt them?

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1. Smart is an unusual car which has introduced a unique design that allows owners to change the car's color panels as often as they change cell phone faceplates and provides compatibility. It has opened the world's first online dealership and it has experimented with bluetooth, offering smartphone and iPod integration before any other carmaker in the world. So it could be able to create enough changes in the user behavior. However the car didn't have the complexity to perform its basic functions while having relative advantages. Smart wasn't practical enough, and couldn't do basic things like parking easily or changing gear seamlessly. The car was also too expensive when compared with similar cars. Cars like the Honda Jazz, now on sale in U.S like the Honda Fit, and the Toyota Yaris were slightly bigger but ...

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Factors influence adoption and diffusion of innovations

1. What factors influence the adoption and diffusion of innovations?

The factors that influence the adoption and diffusion of innovations are the type of advantage the innovation provides. The next is the compatibility of the innovation. For instance, if there is a new software, it is compatible with the commonly used operating systems its adoption is likely to be fast. Further, if the innovation can be observed and tried out its adoption and diffusion becomes faster. In addition, if the innovation is simple it is accepted quickly. The adoption of the innovation to individual needs is an important factor that influences adoption and diffusion of innovation. From a different perspective the relative advantage provided by the innovation leads to quick adoption and diffusion. One of the most critical factors is the cost of diffusion. This influences the rate of diffusion.

In case of diffusion if the physical distance among people is less, there is strong opinion leaders in favor of the innovation, and the similarity among members of a culture leads to speedy diffusion of innovation. There are some characteristics of the population that enhance adoption and diffusion. These characteristics are that the individuals are willing to take risk, focused on technology, willing to take risk and are communicate frequently. Even those people that are technology oriented tend to adopt innovations easily.

2. What methods of forecasting technology and markets are available, and what are their relative advantages and disadvantages?

One of the methods of obtaining forecasting technology and markets is the Delphi technique. This provides input for ideas and problem-solving. Compared to other forecasting techniques involving a group, its relative advantages are that it is conducive to independent thinking, enables sharing of information, leads to reliable forecast results, is inexpensive and allows participants to be anonymous. The relative disadvantages are that it is time consuming, requires ability to write, and needs time and participant commitment( Wallace. T, & Stahl. R2002).

Another method of forecasting technology and markets is the econometric models. These combine economic theory, model building, and statistical methods. The advantages of this method of forecasting technology and markets are that it is based on cause-affect relationships, can forecast the extent of the change, allows adjustment of the model, and provides alternative future scenarios, on the other hand the disadvantages are it may less accurate in case of short term forecasts, depends on its assumptions, and can be expensive(Porter. A 1991).

Another method that can be used for forecasting technology and markets is morphological analysis. This method enables structuring and investigating the set of relationship. Its advantages are that ambiguous parameter definitions are revealed and incomplete ranges of conditions are exposed. In an unbiased way reveals all the relationships. The disadvantages are that it requires experienced facilitation, and developing parameters is very difficult (Wallace. T & Stahl. R2002).


Porter. A (1991) Forecasting and management of technology, Wiley-IEEE,
Rogers, E.M. (1995). Diffusion of innovations (4th ed.). New York: The Free Press.
Stockdill, S.H. and Morehouse, D.L. (1992). Critical factors in successful adoption of technology: A checklist of TDC findings. Educational Technology, 32, 1, 57-58.
Wallace. T, & Stahl. R( 2002) Sales forecasting: a new approach : why and how to emphasize teamwork, not formulas, forecast less, not more, focus on process improvement, not forecast accuracy, T. F. Wallace & CO,

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