This paper describes a research project born of a business need at Procter & Gamble. Management had the vision that adoption of our new innovations could be accelerated if we could identify those consumers with the highest likelihood of being Early Adopters. We would ask them to try initiatives long before market introduction and reap the benefits of their feedback; find what social norms reinforce or suppress product acceptance and how to optimize communication benefits. The biggest reward will be turning many of the Early Adopters into credible advocates for our innovations and thereby creating a tipping point and virtuous cycle. Identification of the Early Adopters, therefore, became a top priority for P&G's Consumer & Market (CMK) Department and Europanel, partner agency in the project. The paper discusses the powerful learnings generated from this research and how these have become enablers for P&G to apply diffusionistic marketing ideas at all phases of an initiative - before launch, at launch and on an on-going basis - to help commercialize innovation faster, cheaper and more effectively.
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