Case Study – Apple Watch: Managing Innovation Resistance

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Innovation resistance occurs when a product is not received as intended by the target market, in most cases, the resistance happens when a business or firm rolls out a new product into the market (Claudy, Garcia & O’Driscoll, 2015). The resistance of consumers in the market varies depending on the attributes of the innovation that has been brought into the market, in this case, the Apple Watch. For Apple Inc. to effectively tackle the issue of consumer resistance, the company needs to consider the different characteristics of the innovation and the potential customers when developing the Apple watches for future generations. The components that the Apple can leverage to increase the uptake of Apple Watches in future include;

            Relative advantage, under this characteristics, Apple needs to ensure that the Apple Watches have a degree of attractiveness and superiority to the consumers when the product is compared to other existing products. Apple also needs to ensure that its innovation is compatible with the needs of the consumers, the innovation should be consistent with the lifestyle the workstyle of the potential consumers. High compatibility means that the innovation will have less resistance in the market. Apple also needs to ensure that they reduce the complexity of the Apple Watch, a product with higher complexity faces higher consumer resistance, this is because consumers find it difficult for them to operate such devices. Apple also needs to ensure that they reduce the perceived risks of the Apple Watch innovation, the company needs to reduce the financial, security and performance risk to manage the consumer resistance.


Question Two:

            The Apple marketing team needs to focus on some elements so that they can support the diffusion of the Apple Watch innovation in the market. One of the aspects that the Apple Watch needs to focus on is value creation. Value creation is marketing process through which the marketing team explains the values that the consumers will get when they buy the products and the value that the stakeholders of the business will get (Dietrich, 2016). The Apple marketing team needs to create the value for the customers to help sell the product. The team needs to focus on the features that are present in the watch and the cost that the watch is being sold. The customers need to see a better value for purchasing the Apple Watch as well as the stakeholders need to see that the stake of the business grows. The marketing team should not only focus on the reduction cost, but it also should focus on the scalable growth, achieve the operational excellence and increase the quality of the product as well as the satisfaction of the customer.

For the company to support the diffusion of the Apple Watch, the marketing team should focus on value delivery. Value delivery ensures that the needs and expectations of the customers are satisfied. Under this element, the marketing team will be focused on ensuring that they satisfy the needs of the customers. By providing that the company makes its customers happy by fulfilling their requirements, the business will be successful; this is because they will be able to increase their market share. Value delivery ensures that the customers will benefit from the quick purchases, reliability, and consistency. Value capture ensures that both the company and consumers gain value for their products. Under the value capture, the team will be focused on ensuring that it retains some percentage of all the transactions that are carried out. To ensure that it supports the diffusion of the Apple Watch into the market, the team should formulate policies that will ensure that the company captures as much value as possible.

Question Three:

            The company also needs to consider the consumer characteristics so that they can manage innovation resistance. The characteristics of the consumers affect their adoption of technology, and the company needs to find ways to influence these characteristics to reduce innovation resistance. The company needs to control the attitude of the consumers towards the products that it produces; this will be possible by looking at the perspective of the consumers on the existing products. Through this, the company can understand the behavior of the consumers and develop innovations that are favorable to the consumers. This way, the company can manage the innovation resistance. Self-efficacy is also another characteristic that needs to be considered by Apple. This consumer characteristic allows the company to create innovations that consumers can be confident with. The consumers need to understand the product and how it is used so that the innovation resistance can be minimized (Martin, Gustafsson & Choi, 2016). Motivation is also another consumer characteristic that Apple should consider, the intentions and needs of the consumers to adopt a particular innovation are based on motivation, they need to ensure that the motivation is higher, in cases where the consumer motivation is lower, the resistance of the innovation is higher. Apple should also consider the expectations of the consumers for a better product. Apple is known for its better products and consumers always expect better products, this leads to consumer resistance. The company should seek ways to ensure that they reduce the consumers’ better product expectations so that they can lower the innovation resistance.

Question Four:

            Apple Watch has faced several barriers that have led to the consumer resistance in the market. Some of the obstacles that have led to the consumer resistance include; the potential customers did not see the value of having the Apple Watch. Apple did not offer much information regarding the watch; many consumers were reluctant on paying for the watch since they believed that their phones provided efficient services. The expectations of the customers were not met, the company is a leading technological giant, and the customers expect a better product. The marketing team did not ensure that the consumers were motivated to take the product as it was released to the market.

Question Five:

            The variations in resistance lead to the development of consumer segments and potential target markets. The consumers also have different value propositions; the propositions allow the company to determine the reasons why the customers might need to buy the product. The consumer segments that arise from the consumer resistance include; demographic segment, this segment is done by identifying the measurable characteristics of the individuals who make up the potential target market. The attributes include; the income, gender, age and the profession of the individuals who make up the target market. By determining the demographic segment of the target market, the company could develop value propositions for the consumers. For instance, if the target market is students, the company could create an innovation that allows the student check their timetable on the watch. The psychographic segment is also another consumer segment that arises from the innovation resistance; this segment describes the lifestyle of people in the target market (Heidenreich & Kraemer, 2016). Since the innovation is wearable, the company needs to create value propositions, for instance, check the temperature for consumers classified in this segment. The consumers could also be classified under the geographic segment; this is the classification of the consumers according to their geographical locations. The company could develop a consumer proposition that shows the events occurring in the region, for instance, updating the news in real-time.


Claudy, M.C., Garcia, R., and O’Driscoll, A., 2015. Consumer resistance to innovation—a behavioral reasoning perspective. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 43(4), pp.528-544.

Dietrich, O., 2016. Understanding the Ageing Consumer: Exploring Strategies for Overcoming Innovation Resistance (Doctoral dissertation, University of Gloucestershire).

Heidenreich, S. and Kraemer, T., 2016. Innovations—doomed to fail? Investigating strategies to overcome passive innovation resistance. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 33(3), pp.277-297.

Martin, D., Gustafsson, A. and Choi, S., 2016. Service innovation, renewal, and adoption/rejection in dynamic global contexts.

September 18, 2023

Business Economics


Corporations Marketing

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