To reduce human causes of global warming, large scale implementation of innovative products that save energy is necessary. Innovative products first reach the early market actors who are driven by a visionary attitude. Hereafter, the products must reach the much larger mainstream market whose actors are driven by a pragmatic attitude. Many innovations, however, only appeal to the visionary early market and do not meet the more pragmatic needs of the mainstream. For that reason, innovations often fall in a "chasm" between the early market and the mainstream and fail to reach the mainstream. We developed a strategy and a protocol to aid governmental agencies in influencing the mainstream members of housing associations to adopt energy conservation innovations. Our method is an adaptation of an existing marketing method and applicable to other target groups. The first step in crossing this chasm is to find a niche segment in the mainstream as the starting point for winning the rest of the mainstream. By surveying the target group and analyzing the data, we identified 29 housing associations (234 interviewed) that belong to this niche segment. Identifying the niche segment and its determinants of behaviour is part of our 4-step protocol that leads to adapting the innovative product to meet the needs of the niche and setting up a marketing plan to win the rest of the mainstream.
Egmond, C., Jonkers, R., & Kok, G. J. (2006). A strategy and protocol to increase diffusion of energy related innovations into the mainstream of housing associations. Energy Policy, 34(18), 4042-4049. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2005.10.001