Why People Buy: Part 8, Novelty

I love getting new things. I recently traded in my 2-year-old laptop for a shiny new one. I love it.

Most of us like new things. Some take pride in having nothing but old or used things.

But others have a strong need for something else entirely: being first.

In Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore, he shows that every product has a lifecycle of different buyers. The first people to buy any product are “techies,” followed closely by “early adopters.” You know that friend who stood in line for the first iPhone, and bought a Fitbit before it did anything useful? That’s who I’m talking about.

People buy novelty.

The first iPhone ran on a 2G network with painfully slow download speeds, compared with today’s 4G network which is up to 1,000 times faster. As a mobile internet-connected device, it was crappy unless it was connected to wifi. Yet droves of people stood in line and paid for a phone that was, at the time, basically an inferior BlackBerry.

Some people just need new and novel.

They want the promise of being first, to tinker with their new toys, and tell their friends about it.

New features, new methods, new design…NEW. It’s something you can use to help sell your service, and it’s a strong draw for some clients.