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Diffusion of Innovation

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 In the textbook world, as you well know, textbooks are revised at least every two years making the out of date book of no resale value.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?

Solution Preview

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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