The Five Adopter Categories Definition and Examples

All individuals in a social system do not adopt an innovation at the same time. Rather, they adopt in an ordered time sequence, and they may be classified into on the basis of when they first begin using a new idea. In technology transfer programme, it is of great practical utility for the extension workers to identify the individuals who are likely to adopt innovations early and who may lag behind.

adopter categories

Still, the early majority waits until he has also seen advertising and read an article in the paper about the benefits of the Anti-Gravity Belt before he adopts the product. The late majority adopt new ideas just after the average member of a social system. Adoption may be both an economic necessity and the answer to increasing social pressures. Innovations are approached with a skeptical and cautions air, and the late majority do not adopt until most other in their social system have done so. The weight of system norms must definitely favour the innovation before the late majority are convinced. They can be persuaded of the utility of new ideas, but the pressure of peers is necessary to motivate adoption.

Late Majority (34%)

Early adopters wanting to own the product first will pay the high price, showing a huge interest in the phone. It will not reflect that the product is expensive and that the majority of the consumers in the Indian market won’t be able to own the iPhone. It may not help justify the price of the product if it is not affordable to the general public.

  • Adopter categories breaks the customer adoption journey over a period of time.
  • By tracking how your employees respond to different types of training, identifying areas where users abandon the tool, and gathering feedback from employees in real-time, you can continuously improve your approach.
  • Early adopters are those who are not quite as risk-taking as innovators and typically wait until the product or service receives some reviews before making a purchase.
  • And the early adopter knows that he must continue to earn this esteem of his colleagues if his position in the social structure is to be maintained.
  • The next 34 per cent of the adopters between the mean date of adoption and minus one standard deviation are known as early majority.

Their decisions are normally based on utility and practical benefits and less about coolness and social status. An early adopter is a person or business that acquires a new product or technology before others. Early majority – the perfect example for this category would be those people who have started using the cloud services in recent times. They love to explore new possibilities that come with products that are being newly launched in the market. These are the most venturesome among all the five and quite curious. In Roger’s adopter categories, he recognizes that not every person has a similar motivation to take on new advances.

This assumption may be necessary as an energy drink company develops its target marketing strategies in advance of the launch a new product. An early adopter is one who tries new products before most other consumers. They example of demand deposit provide feedback to the vendor and help them to refine the product features, design, distribution, and support. Early adoption can also be viewed as a form of testing in the early stages of the product’s life cycle.

Adopter Categories: Characteristics

This website has discussed consumer innovators numerous times, due to their importance in generating product adoption and kick-starting the introduction phase of the product life cycle. While innovators are the initial type of consumer, there are other consumer mindsets that are typically discussed in marketing textbooks. The product adoption curve is a model and visual representation used to understand and predict how a new product will be adopted by different segments of consumers over time. The innovators and early adopters are the first two initial groups to adopt a new product. Innovators often have a higher risk tolerance and are willing to pay a premium for new products.

Early majorities are not risk-taking and typically wait until a product or service is tested or used by a trusted peer. These individuals are prudent and want to purchase things that are proven to work. Laggards (16%) – The last 16% of the buyers are traditional or elderly people with little or no social interaction, who show great resistance towards adopting a new product. Some laggards never purchase a product while others purchase it at the end of its life cycle.

Those in this group have less education and are older than the early majority. They value highly the opinions their neighbours and friends hold about them; for this is their main source of status and prestige. They are not the persons who test the untried ideas but they are quickest to use tried ideas in their own situations.

Individuals who wait a couple of days and spend some time reading reviews before going to see a movie are regarded as early adopters. Early Adopters (13.5%) – The next 13.5% purchasers are early adopters who take calculated risks before buying a new product. They are generally opinion leaders of a group and the success of the product greatly lies upon their adoption of the product. Early adopts weighs the pros and cons of the product before buying it and upon satisfaction help the product to become socially acceptable by providing information to their social groups.

These adopter categories are classified on the basis of how they approach the products that are launched in the market and how this affects the growth of the company and in general the overall business industry. This group is considered to be the slowest one when it comes to adopting new ideas or new technologies. They are just not at all enthusiastic about embracing new ideas or products. This segment of the demographics is leading the market today and has covered almost one-third of the entire market. Over time they have built their impression as an average social status and are far from being the opinion leaders.

Diffusion of Innovation

It’s easy to see how to use innovators to attract early adopters, and the same goes for using the early majority to attract the late majority. Of course, the laggards will come around eventually, if only because of the shift in cultural momentum. Early majority and late majority are the critical mass that ensures adoption.

  • It is not until they see the product widespread – in retailers and in people’s homes/possession – that they eventually decide to start buying the product.
  • The adopter categories were first named and depicted in the milestone book Diffusion of Innovations by social scientist Everett Rogers in 1962.
  • Early adoption can also be viewed as a form of testing in the early stages of the product’s life cycle.
  • They are interested in anything new, and are quick to adopt new and innovative products.

Observers have noted that venturesomeness is almost an obsession with innovators. This interest leads them out of a local circle of peers and into more cosmopolite social relationships. Communication patterns and friendships among a clique of innovators are common, eventhough the geographical distance between the innovators may be great. These include control of substantial financial resources to absorb the understand and apply complex technical knowledge. Adopter distributions follow a bell shaped curve over time and approach normality. Customers in the mainstream market often want to see functioning products supported by research, case studies, and alike.


Potential adopters look to early adopters for advice and information about the innovation. The early adopter is considered by many as „the man to check with“ before using a new idea. This adopter category is generally sought by change agents to be a local missionary for speeding the diffusion process. Because early adopters are not too far ahead of the average individual in innovativeness, they serve as a role model for many other members of a social system.

  • Eventually product sales decline as Innovators and Early Adopter move to something new and the cycle starts over.
  • To motivate innovators, focus on the exciting opportunities the new technology presents.
  • Some products may see rapid adoption by the early adopters and then a slower adoption by the rest of the market.
  • In other words, they typically only adopt the new technology when virtually forced to.
  • This website has discussed consumer innovators numerous times, due to their importance in generating product adoption and kick-starting the introduction phase of the product life cycle.

Late majority is the fourth group of users to adopt an innovation. Skeptics, the late majority wait until an innovation has been accepted by a majority of consumers and the price has dropped to adopt the new product. Companies must first find the innovators of their new product, and direct their promotional message at them. As the innovation gains momentum and is accepted by the early adopters, marketers must understand that this group of adopters will determine if their new product is a success or a failure.

They rely on informal sources for information and make a purchase only after the majority has already purchased it. By tracking how your employees respond to different types of training, identifying areas where users abandon the tool, and gathering feedback from employees in real-time, you can continuously improve your approach. While early adopters are trendsetters and tend to be comfortable taking risks, they want to form a solid opinion of technology before they vocally support it.

Late majority – the pole of this category are those who have just started to use debit and credit cards. Innovators – Now since these people love to explore the new product, they will be the first ones to visit the apple store to buy the latest launch be it an apple watch or an iPhone. The people of this group are mostly considered to be conservative. These are the most traditional of them all with old kind of thinking.

But a customer or segment in pain doesn’t care about the validation, they just want the pain to go away. Disruptive product categories, such as the smartphone, require not only risk taking, but furthermore a change in user behaviour. The majority wants to buy from established brands and companies to avoid a bad experience.

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