Sunday, October 17, 2010

What's important (and brief) in a (consumer) value model of innovation?

I express my PhD contribution (to the innovation and consumer value literature) as a list of propositions:

Proposition 1. Value drives consumer action. Consumers adopt new technology when they see good value.

Proposition 1a. Loss of value is a stronger drive to action (problem solving) than value.

Proposition 2. Value (when complex) has multiple, conflicting meanings.

Proposition 3. Consumers express value memories as attitude.

Proposition 3a. Attitude occurs at two value levels; by value meaning and overall.

Proposition 4. Closing and simplicity emerged as the most unusual and unexpected value practice and value meaning.

Proposition 5: Value is driven more by emotion than goals.
As Steve Jobs said "Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become." Stanford Commencement Address 2005.

My what's important thinking crystallises from the more longwinded post from a few days ago.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

If the NBN is the solution, what is the problem?

I suggest three problems the NBN addresses:
1. High per Gb prices, compared to overseas
2. Capped Gb per month, compared to overseas
3. Price per month measured taking incomes and currency into account (ie affordability)

Also, I sent Minister of Broadband a note referring to my poster on the NBN

Senator Stephen Conroy,
Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy
re: How to sell the sizzle of the NBN? .... to non technical Australians....

Dear Sir,

I recently produced this poster for the Melb Uni, IBES (Institute for a Broadband enabled Society) on how to portray the benefits of the NBN in a way that, I believe, is more appropriate (and more oriented) to consumers. The focus of NBN discussion on $43 billion and headline speed (100Mbps, 1Gbps) are all well and good for techies and IT professionals, but don't speak to the needs of more ordinary Australians, such as retirees who use broadband mainly for email, working mothers who manage a household budget, and other non-technical people. The NBN also needs to be sold to (well informed) non-technical people, but with language more in keeping with their interests and concerns. The poster provides a sample of three ordinary Australian and how the NBN will be better value for them.

NBN: faster, simpler, cheaper broadband.
Get more…. Do more… on the NBN.

Poster Summary
Why do consumers adopt new technology? What holds them back? How much will they pay? Past innovation theory focuses on early and later adopters, the young and high income earners (Rogers 2003). Value theory suggests consumer goals drive consumer choices (Woodruff 1997). Co-construction of value (Vargo and Lusch 2008) is a new perspective suggesting consumer value drives successful innovation (Kim and Mauborgne 2005). Innovation succeeds when it creates consumer and shareholder value. Innovation fails when it fails to create value.

To sell the sizzle of the NBN, we need to talk about how the NBN creates value for consumers. The focus should become how the NBN is cheaper ($ per GB), faster, and ideally simpler in pricing, choice, and usage. We should forget the $43 billion headline price, and 1 Gbps headline speed and talk in terms consumers understand: price per month.

Poster Image at: here(9Mb)

Blogpost on my PhD blog here.

I am researching how consumers understand value in a new technology, looking at 3G mobile phones.

The focus I recommend for the NBN (price per month) is difficult while the NBN is providing a wholesale only service, but focus could be made on the current Tasmanian NBN retail offerings, especially where they are priced lower than current ADSL2+ pricing. I have a blogpost on this comparison too, I call NBN ValueWatch here .

Kind regards
Richard Ferrers
Innovation and Value analyst
University of Qld

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What's important: in a (consumer) value theory of innovation

A Phd needs an academic contribution. The 'so what' was that research all about. Why was that research worth doing?

This post reprioritises the (consumer) value model. The Value Model focuses on the consumer aspect of Innovation: what do consumers value in a new technology?

What's Important with consumer value:

1. Consumers intimately describe value (meanings and practices) in connection with their actions (buying without waiting; waiting). Consumers' problem solving actions protect their existing value, while value reconfiguring (buying, exploring, comparing) seeks to grow new value. Consumers express their emotional response to value far more than any goals they might have, which are almost completely absent in descriptions of their experience.

2. Loss of value is a stronger drive to action (problem solving) than value.

3. Value actions include value practices: individual - exploring; comparing; filtering/closing; social - observing; inquiring; recommending; value consequences - buying; using; waiting.

4. Loss of Value actions (problem solving) include: seeking seller (innovator, telco) assistance; seeking alternatives; closing; doing nothing.

5. Pre purchase Value meanings include: connecting; bargain hunting; novelty; power, beauty, duty. Post purchase Value meanings include: service, reliability, simplicity. Underlying Value meanings include: function, need, emotion and time.

6. Consumers express Value memories as attitude; "brilliant", "fabulous", "amazed", "fantastic"; "happy", "better", "good", "prefer"; "problems", "don't want", "annoy", "dislike"; "total crap", "pissed off", "shits me", "totally unsatisfied". Attitude is positive or negative, strong or weak. Attitudes attach to (value meanings in and overall to) a value object. Simple valuing, where one thing is better than another in all aspects, is rational. Where one thing is compared to another thing; the first better in some ways, the second better in other ways, then valuing is complex.

7. Value meanings (and their creation) interact with and reconstruct Value practices (collecting and sorting value information). The interaction makes value dynamic, constructionist, complex (multi-meanings) and paradoxical (different meanings pull us to different actions).

8. Valuing takes place as a series of value conversations: social, individual and telco (innovator, promoter, contextual), so value is socially constructed and experiential.

9. Valuing continues pre and post purchase, so value is iterative and dynamic. I call this the Value phases.

The Value Model is based on interviews of consumers about their 3G mobile phones. I asked consumers:
-how did you come to have your 3G mobile phone? how do you find it now you have got it?
-is there anything you would change? how do you find the telco?
-what does your 3G mobile phone mean to you?
The grounded theory methodology assumes a world in constant motion, where consumers' actions are based on the meanings they make out of their experiences in the world. This type of research is called interpretive, as I interpret the meanings consumers make, and as such is not generalisable in the way statistical research is.

The Value Model is complex but close to and grounded in consumer experience with 3G mobile phones.

The Value Model has been compared to the major innovation literature theories of technology adoption (diffusion of innovation) and major consumer value literature (see below)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Updated NBN Pricing: iiNet breaks $1/Gb barrier

Value Watch (Sept 2010)

Headline: iiNet, in new pricing, breaks the $1 per Gb barrier on $60 plan and above... iiNet substantially lowers its NBN pricing with September price release, and until June 2011, provides speed at fastest rate. iiNet leads lowest NBN pricing, below Exetel's $2/Gb pricing towards $0.20 per Gb ($110/mth), and $0.60 per Gb ($60 /

See Value Watch here.