Everett M. Rogers, author of “The Diffusion of Innovations,” studied the adoption of new technologies and attempted to identify why people choose to use new products. According to Rogers, any product that lacks all of the traits will find significant difficulty in attracting users.
- Advantage: Your product needs to be more useful than the currently available alternative
- Compatibility: Your product needs to map to the desires, expectations, values, and experience of your users
- Complexity: Your product needs to be simple and easy to use
- Trialability: Your users need to be able to try your product without unreasonable investment of time or money
- Observability: Other people need to know who is using your product
When launching media properties or nonprofit campaigns, sometimes these general principles are ignored. We should keep in mind, however, that Rogers believed the adoption of new ideas follows the exact same path as the adoption of new products. His findings on using creative properties to spread community innovation are detailed in “Entertainment Education: A Communication Strategy for Social Change.”