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  • Writer's pictureNicole Munsey

5 Essential Questions to Assess Your AgeTech Innovation's Potential: Question #3 - How much are you asking users to change their behavior?

In this series, we explore the 5 critical questions to ask about your AgeTech innovation before going to market to ensure you are creating consumer relevance and maximizing your in-market potential.


Before launching or investing in an AgeTech innovation, ask yourself these questions first to make sure you're betting on the right play and/or to make sure your innovation is the best it can be to succeed in market.


elderly-man-in-front-of-blackboard-with-question-marks

Question #3: How much are you asking users to change their behavior in order to adopt your innovation?


All innovations are designed to solve a problem or meet a need for the user. Inherently, users are doing something today, before your innovation launches, in order to solve that problem or meet that need.


In order to ensure you are building the right marketing and communication strategy for your AgeTech innovation, you'll want to understand how much of a change in behavior is required from your user in order to adopt your innovation instead of whatever they are doing today.


Why does the level of behavioral change matter?


  • People are creatures of habit. Most of us don't change our habits and behaviors easily, particularly if it comes with a steep learning curve.

  • It's not the users' job to change their behavior - it's yours.  As the innovator, it's up to you to motivate consumers to change their habits, adopt your new technology and adapt to changed behaviors.

Some innovations simply allow consumers to solve their needs better or more easily, without asking the consumer to modify their current habits or behaviors significantly, for example:


Close up photo of Swiffer sweeper

Before Swiffer, people cleaned their floors by sweeping and mopping with brooms and mops/buckets.  With a Swiffer, users still go around the entire house with similar movements, but can combine sweeping/mopping into one motion. 


Keurig coffee machine brewing coffee into red mug

Before Keurig K-Cups, consumers brewed drip coffee at home.  With K-Cups, consumers still brew drip coffee at home – but more quickly and conveniently.  They didn’t have to significantly change their coffee preparation behaviors, and in fact were able to remove some steps from the process.


"In the case of both Swiffer and Keurig K-Cups, the behavior is fundamentally the same, but made more efficient and convenient."



Other innovations require consumers to significantly modify their current behaviors in order to reap the benefits of the new innovation.


Close up photo of Roomba robot vacuum

Unlike Swiffer, a Roomba required a fundamental behavior change in how users cleaned their floors.  Instead of going room to room and manually sweeping, consumers now have to learn how to use, charge, and program a robot vacuum.   




"While ultimately many perceive this as more convenient and and the robot vacuum category continues to grow, this innovation requires more of a behavioral change for consumers (not to mention, a higher price premium) and adoption therefore took longer for Roombas than for Swiffers." 


Close up of smartphone scanning a QR code for payment

Before the launch of online

banking solutions, people relied on paper checks and in-person visits to the bank. The rise of online banking asked people to adopt entirely new behaviors to interact with their finances and conduct transactions – auto-paying, online payments, app downloads, account creation, security keys, etc. 

Tech innovation, including AgeTech, often involves asking consumers to significantly change their current behaviors in order to reap the benefits offered by the innovation, particularly in cases in which the innovation is designed to shift consumers from a non-tech solution to a tech solution. 



What are the go-to-market implications?


Asking users to change their current behaviors is not an insurmountable barrier, as evidenced by the prevalence of online banking today and the spread of robot vacuums; however, the level of behavior shift required has implications for how you bring your innovation to market and how to plan for your innovation once in market, such as:


Overcoming Barriers


A person jumping over a chasm

While not an insurmountable barrier, an AgeTech innovation that requires users to significantly change their current behavior is nonetheless a barrier to adoption. 


The more change your innovation requires, the harder your go-to-market strategy needs to work in order to overcome those barriers.



Forecasting Adoption Curves and Revenue


Illustrated chart of Technology Adoption Life Cycle

In a similar vein, the more behavioral change required, likely the longer the adoption curve.  Consumers adopted Keurig machines much more quickly than they adopted online banking.   



You’ll want to identify the most likely early adopters and focus your initial marketing efforts on that audience, but also make sure your financial forecasting is realistic in terms of adoption rate estimates.



Generating User Trial vs. User Stickiness


Close up of honey dripping from dipper

Many AgeTech innovations rely on “stickiness” to support ongoing growth.  That is, users must not only start using the innovation, they must continue using the innovation.  The long-term success of many mobile apps, for instance, is not determined by the number of app downloads or initial trials, but rather, the ongoing rate of usage and subscription renewals.   


If that “stickiness” depends on changed user behaviors, that in turn means more of an investment in user support, as well as continuing to market and communicate with users to encourage and sustain usage. 


Advertising and sales strategy cannot simply focus only on generating trial, but must also continue to drive usage.



A Research-Driven GTM Strategy to Drive Innovation Adoption


Primary Consumer Research can help you maximize your AgeTech innovation growth potential by giving you the Strategic Insights and Innovation & Marketing Guidance you need to succeed in market – even when that success requires new consumer behaviors.


Morning Light Strategy primary research solutions can help you:


  • Discover the right strategies to overcome barriers to behavioral change for your innovation.

  • Assess, refine and optimize your product concept, prototype or in-market product based on consumer feedback and real-world user testing

  • Build the most compelling communications to generate awareness, interest, trial, and repeat usage

  • Forecast your innovation's market potential under different marketing plan scenarios


How much do your users have to change their behavior to use your AgeTech? What does that mean for you?


Let's chat about how we can help you answer this question. Click here to start the conversation.


About:  Morning Light Strategy is an insights-based strategic consultancy that helps AgeTech, Senior Living, and other senior-focused organizations better develop and market products and services by more deeply understanding the needs, wants and opinions of 50+ adults and their caregivers.  To learn more, visit: www.morninglightstrategy.com

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