Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Early Adopter Theory

Early Adopter Theory

Early Adopter Theory

Management concept knol series

The management concept knols will have introduction to the concept, definition and brief explanation, links to various knols on the concept, books on the concept and research papers on the concept.


 Index of concepts
  1. Aa to Az
  2. Ba to Bz
  3. Ca to Cz
  4. Da to Dz  
  5. Ea to Ez
  6. Fa to Fz
  7. Ga to Gz
  8. Ha to Hz
  9. Ia to Iz

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:
Early adopters
Early majority
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.






Related Knols



Everett M. Rogers,  Diffusion of Innovations, Free Press, New York, 1962. (Third Ed. 1983)

Research Papers

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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