Understand how consumers make choices


Struggling Moments

Struggling moment are the seed for all innovation. Finding where people are looking to make progress is what innovation all about. You have to be able to find that struggle, where there’s a push towards the future, where there’s a pull from the past … where the thing that they’re doing now isn’t working and the outcome that they want is better than what they have now. If we can show consumers a better way, better people are going to want it.

Context around change

Within any change there are forces (emotional, functional and social) that are encouraging you but also holding you back from making the change. The Forces of Progress framework break them down into four components.

Push of the Situation

Think of your parents and they’re downsizing, and the push is going to be things like, well, has nothing to do with the answer, has everything to do with the context they’re in. The house is too big, the taxes are going up, the stairs because the laundry’s in the basement, it needs a new roof … there’s all these things that says, “Boy it’s time to move.”

Magnetism of the New Solution

And then there is this pull once they see a solution, they have magnetism towards that solution, we call the pull of the solution. A ranch condo that has two-bedroom, two and a half bath, first floor laundry, granite countertop, hardwood floor and it’s the kitchen your mom always wanted but never had. It’s all those things where they have this huge magnetism but the reality is there are two other forces that are at play.

Anxiety of the New

One is what we call the anxiety of the new, which is, “How am I going to sell the house? I don’t know where the grocery store is. We don’t know anybody out there.” There’s all these questions that come into their head that become a force that says, “No, we shouldn’t move.”

Habit of the Present

And then there’s the habit force, which is this force that really causes people to say well, “This is where we raised the children, we have all these memories,” all these different things.

If the push and the pull are not greater than the anxiety and habit people will never switch. But by interviewing people we can understand how they actually overcame those things and build innovations that make the change more attractive for others.