Imagine that you are in a clothing store and suddenly you stumble upon a pair of bright orange pants. “What a waste of shelf space.” You think. ” Who would want to buy this stuff?”. Yet, in the next couple of months, you see a few people in your circle wearing those pants. During the first few times, you get surprised at their choice but eventually you start to feel that those pants don’t look as odd as you initially thought. And after a few months, you buy a pair for yourself.
In the above-mentioned scenario, what you needed to accept a change was a group of people in your circle to adopt the change first. After seeing them, your initial resistance to change started to diminish. Those people were the “Change Nucleus / Nuclei “.
Now imagine the scenario from the shop owner’s (who is selling the pants) point of view. She has designed a new product which requires people to change ( a part of ) their behavior. She knows that the fabric quality is good and the color would suit a lot of people. Yet, this knowledge isn’t helping her in any way. She is trying aggressively to market the product but people aren’t feeling any connection with it.
What she needs is a group of people who would be the initial adopters of the change ( the orange pants). Most of us human beings are resistant to change by nature. We need assurance that the change isn’t too risky ( or is worth the risk). The early adopters give that assurance and upon seeing them, we might become more inclined to accept change. And that group of early adopters, is the change nucleus or nuclei for her business.
Who is the Change Nucleus?
Change Nucleus is the person who is
- a member of the group the change is targeted to
- early adopter of change
- proud and confident advocate of the change
- the confidence can be expressed either verbally or just through action
Apple has a large group of Change Nuclei who work in their favor. Whenever they launch a new product, this group immediately purchases it and expresses their opinion on the product or proudly uses the product in front of other people. As a result, any change the company wants to bring gets easily communicated and rapidly accepted ( iPad, iPhone, etc.)
On the other hand, newer companies like Oculus don’t have many people as their Change Nucleus. The Oculus Rift technology is a highly advanced one yet it doesn’t get as much spotlight as an Apple product gets.
Why is Change Nucleus Important in Marketing Innovations?
- Marketing innovations are about telling people to do something in a new way like suggesting people to use an electric car instead of a fossil-fuel driven one. The core offering of the products are same; they would help people go from one place to another. But when a company tells people that there is a better way to do what they are doing, people might become defensive and resist the change. The best option is to find Change Nucleus in important communities so that the changes would be promoted from within.
- Innovations get resisted by competitors as well. They might even launch separate campaigns to block an innovation from a competitor. In cases like this, change nucleus might prove to be very effective. They would be able to provide the brand support when the brand gets attacked.
Power of a brand is directly correlated to the number of change nucleus the brand has. It is thus important for every brand, especially those which are trying to bring change, to focus on developing this group. Because the faster they get to do that, the faster their product will sell and the brand will develop.