The "Hype Cycle": Innovations And The 5 Stages Of Attention
Stage 1: Technological Trigger
Stage 2: Peak of Inflated Expectations
Stage 3: Trough of Disillusionment
Stage 4: Slope of Enlightenment
Stage 5: Plateau of Productivity
Beacon Technology as an Example
A great example of this is the Beacon technology, a transmitter-receiver principle based on Bluetooth for localization and communication in enclosed spaces, e.g. between a product and the smartphone of a customer. In 2013, the "Technological Trigger" happened when Apple presented its iBeacons. As early as the beginning of 2014, start-ups and business media leaped at this topic and predicted the revolution of location-based and personalized marketing. As a result, Shopkick started its loyalty app based on Beacon technology at the end of 2014, with which customers could collect points for entering participating stores (e.g. Galeria Kaufhof, H&M, Media Markt). At the beginning of 2017, Shopkick already withdrew from the German market. The original (exaggerated) expectations of this technology could not be fulfilled, at least not for the marketing area. At the same time, Beacons are very successful in the logistics sector. An example: The logistics company CHEP uses beacons in quarter pallets to facilitate the tracking of Mondelez promotions in German real markets. To this end, in 2016, the ECR Award for Corporate Cooperation was awarded.
Do not celebrate trends too soon, but don’t give up on them too quick either
Therefore, decision-makers should always look at new technologies and trends rationally and provide unbiased cost-benefit calculations before taking action. This is true for both, big and small innovations. Some hypes, like Pokémon Go, last only a few months, while others have more potential - like Big Data or Chatbots. On the other hand, one should keep an eye on innovations and trends following the media hype (in the Trough of Disillusionment), as many of them experience a renaissance under more realistic circumstances.