How Customers Adopt Products

Added on by Alexander Osterwalder.

This is a tool called the Forces Diagram that helps you understand why customers may switch or may not switch to a new value proposition or solution. We found the concept and tool to be very valuable as it goes well with our Strategyzer toolset. It really helps understand the adoption or potential adoption of new value propositions.

Forces_Diagram_Version_Strategyzer

The tool was created by Bob Moesta and Chris Spiek, who are deeply involved in the Jobs-To-Be-Done movement. The tool highlights two opposing forces in the adoption of new value propositions:

  1. What motivates people to switch to a new solution?

  2. What holds people back from switching to a new solution? 

A) Motivators to Switch

Motivating forces have two drivers:

Push: Investigate what motivates people to even look for a different solution? It could be problems with the existing solutions or unhappy experiences. Think of these motivators as the pains associated with using a current product or service.

Pull: This is what Bob and Chris call the “Magnetism of the New” solution; It is what attracts customers to a new product or service. In our Customer Profile in the Value Proposition Canvas, these are the gain creators of a new value proposition that connect strongly with the gains customers are looking for. These are the most attractive benefits of the new solution.

B) Blockers to Switch

Blocking forces have two drivers that block or inhibit change:

Inertia: What is it about an existing solution that prevents people from switching? What makes it difficult for someone to switch? One example that comes to mind is the Nespresso coffee system. Typically you were  locked into the system once you bought the machine (coffee pods only worked with the Nespresso machine). If you wanted to switch, you had to buy an entirely new machine. There may simply also be habits of the present that prevent customers from switching.

Anxiety: Here you highlight a customer’s  worries about the new solution. Will it be a difficult service or product to adopt? Does this new product or service even work as promised? Is it reliable? These types of questions can make a person anxious and block the ability to adopt a new product.

We're big believers in business people using several tools together, and here we have a great tool to think about how people adopt new solutions. It integrates really nicely with the Value Proposition Canvas.