Early Adopter Theory
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Subject: Marketing Management
Chapter/Topic : New product development and marketing
Concept Definition and Explanation
This theory is a part of marketing of new products.
According to this theory, persons in a target market differ in the time taken by them to react to exposure to a new product.
The traits of early adopters differ from late adopters.
Efficient media exist for reaching early adopters.
Early adopters tend to be opinion makers and leaders and help in creating word of mouth advertising for the new product.
Everett M. Rogers' book, Diffusion of Innovations is a useful one in the understanding of adoption of new products by consumers.
Roger categorised the target market of a new product into five groups:
Late majority, and
Certain characteristicsof the innovation affect its rate of adoption.
First is innovation's relative advantage: If the advantage to existing products is high, the rate of adoption is high.
Second, innovation's compatibility: If it is compatible with values and experiences of the community members, its rate of adoption is high.
Third, innovation's complexity: If it is easy to understand and use the new product, adoption rate is high.
Fourth, divisibility: If a new product is divisible and can be used in small bits, the adoption rate is high.
Fifth, communicability: The ease of communicating the beneficial results of the new product or innovation. A new product whose benefits can be communicated easily will be adopted at a faster rate.
Everett M. Rogers, Diffusion of Innovations, Free Press, New York, 1962. (Third Ed. 1983)
Hubert Gatignon and Thomas S. Robertson, "A Propositional Inventory for New Diffusion Research, " Journal of Consumer Research, March 1985, pp. 849-67.
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