I am in the process of creating a startup in an existing market and through research found that in order to win customers from competitors, I need them to "adopt" my product/service as their own.
To make the question clearer:
Do you know of any research or theories that I can follow to increase the adoption rate?
I am specifically looking for psychological mechanics of adoption of a service or any theory that provides some form of method to expand on.
For example: What mental strain strategies to use that creates personal buy in or association to service. Stack Exchange uses a system where credibility is earned over a period with additional services being offered as a reward for interaction with the site. This greatly helps in increasing the adoption rate of the site.
I am looking for similar strategies.
Thanks for your feedback.
Best way? Create a product that provides more value for your customers than your competitor does. There's no other way to do it.
As far as particular methodologies you might find to create a product that warrants adoption, one great place to start is the lean startup methodologies pushed by Eric Reis and Steve Blank. Look at Ash Maurya's blog (and book) for some more tactical suggestions toward lean product development as well.
So... you're trying to get competitors' customers to switch to your service?
There are a few ways you could go about this. One of the most effective ways is Google AdWords targeted at your competitors' brand names, with ad copy that highlights why you're better / what your big differentiator is. (e.g. "Looking for Sprocket Co.? Try Widget, Inc. - 30% cheaper and 50% more results!")
You can also tap into organic search traffic by creating content that targets keywords like "[Competitor Name] review", "[Competitor Name] alternative", or "[Competitor 1 Name] vs [Competitor 2 Name]" (include your own company in this comparison as well).
And search for communities where customers in your industry discuss vendors / tools. Get involved there.