Crossing the chasm in renewable energy: Identifying and Targeting Pragmatic Adopters in Germany A Case Study of InnoVentum AB

Jonas S. Wendler

Student thesis: Master thesis


[Tags] Innovation Marketing; Diffusion of Innovation; Crossing the Chasm; Market Segmentation;Market Entry[Purpose] This study seeks to investigate the potential to cross the chasm, identifying and targetingthe early market in the innovation adoption process for appropriate positioning in the German market,to reach mainstream commercialization.[Framework] The theoretical background for this investigation stems from the area of diffusion ofinnovations, more specifically from what has been coined ‘crossing the chasm’, as well as contemporarymarketing theories. From those, four dimensions or steps have been identified to guide the research:The market segmentation and targeting, the product attributes, the positioning and the distribution.[Methods & Sampling] Based on this theoretical framework an analysis of the market and the targetmarket segmentation has been performed. Hereby, case studies and in-depth interviews providedfor the necessary qualitative research, which is supplemented by secondary sources. The explorative,qualitative research is constructed on theoretical sampling and aiming at providing sound measurementthrough triangulation of the sources.[Findings] From the two cases studies and the 15 primary in-depth interviews it was found that themost feasible target segment for an innovative renewable energy company like InnoVentum are small,local businesses. They have the pragmatic stance as advised through the theoretical framework andprovide for best word-of-mouth and self-referrencing as crucial aspects of the chasm crossing process.In regards to targeting a thorough and well-defined value propostion is needed to address the customerneeds for quality, storage and integration, as well as transparent price communication due to the pricesensitivity. For distribution a one-channel direct sales approach is favoured, with aligned brand buildingonline and offline community building to increase awareness and trialability.[Limitations & Further Research]. Further research is possible in form of more more quantitativestudies on the customers needs and communication behaviour for selected segments. Potentiallimitations include potential bias in form of the company relation, as well as sampling.

EducationsMSc in International Marketing and Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2014
Number of pages103