How Contagious Is Your Innovation?

“Could I interest you in everything

All of the time

A bit of everything

Apathy’s a tragedy

And boredom is a crime”

The line from comic Bo Burnham’s song ‘Welcome to the Internet’ aptly describes the challenge brands are up against in grabbing the consumers attention. How can your innovation stand out and capture the undivided attention of the consumer when they literally have access to “everything – all of the time”?

To initially draw a crowd, you need a hook and to evoke a reaction. In order to grow your audience, you must tap into key group dynamics.

Get a Reaction

To encourage social contagion, brands must tap into the fact that people react when someone else has reacted, and we respond when someone else is responsive. This behaviour is fundamental to effectiveness of brand influencers as well as the rise in popularity of shows like Googlebox. It can be used to implicitly evoke emotions about your brand. However, your innovation can’t just be liked, it needs to be shared and must provoke discussion. What can you do to prompt conversation about your innovation?

Tap into Important Group Dynamics

In the 1950’s Tupperware discovered how to take their innovative sealable containers viral through bottom-up marketing. Women across America would host Tupperware parties, inviting friends to their homes where they could do demos and sell. The success of the business was due to its ability to tap into the several powerful group dynamics:

  • Herd Mentality – the fear of exclusion and the power of conformity
  • Tribalism – “supporting one of our own”
  • Fear of Missing Out – inspiring envy
  • Lowering the Social Barrier to Entry – Less of a risk decision if everyone is doing it

Their belief was that it’s easier to sell to a group of woman than to sell to the individually. The lessons learned by Tupperware are still being used today and are equally if not more relevant to successfully launching new innovation.

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