Classification of Adopters Consumer Behaviour

Adopter Categories in Consumer Behaviour

Adopters can be classified into five groups based on the time when they adopt:
Innovators: The first 2.5 per cent to adopt innovation.
Early adopters: The next 13.5 per cent to adopt.
Early majority. The next 34 per cent to adopt.
Late majority: The next 34 per cent to adopt.
Laggards: The final 16 per cent to adopt.
Innovators (2.5%)
Innovators are venture some risk takers. They are younger, more educated and socially mobile.They have the capacity to absorb risk associated with the new product. They are cosmopolitan in outlook, are aware and make use of commercial media, and eager to learn about new products,are progressive, ready to use new products.
Early adopters (13.5%)
They take a calculated risk before investing and using new innovations. They are opinion leaders and provide information to groups, but they are also concerned about failure. Therefore,they weigh advantages and disadvantages of the product before plunging in for a purchase.
Early majority (34%)
They tend to be more continuous and use the product after the innovators and early adopters seem to be satisfied with it. They are elders, well educated and less socially mobile. They rely heavily on inter-personal source of information. They constitute 34 per cent of the consumers.
Late majority (34%)
They are doubtful and skeptical about the innovation of new products. They tend to use the product not so much because of innovation, but because of other pressures non-availability of the product and social pressures. They have less social status, and are less socially mobile than previous group. They are average in age, education, social status, income. They make little use of media (Magazine etc.). They rely heavily on informal sources of information.
Laggards (16% of a Market)
They are more traditional. They possess limited social interaction and are oriented to the past.They adopt the innovations with great reluctance. They have the least education, lowest social status and income. They possess no opinion leadership and are in touch with other laggard sand do not subscribe to many magazines.
Market strategy related to diffusion
There are differences in the early purchasers or innovators and late purchasers (Laggards).The strategy for the target market adopted, is a “moving target market” approach. First the general target market is selected, and then the focus shifts to innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards. This takes place as the product keeps getting acceptance from the consumers. There is then a change in the media and advertising themes for different target groups.
Diffusion enhancement strategies
The idea is to find out the diffusion inhibitors and to eliminate them for the enhancement of diffusion. For this, the diffusion determinants are analyses, and diffusion strategies framed,as given in Table below.

Diffusion enhancement strategies

Adoption and Diffusion Through Marketing Strategy
Marketers have been trying to influence consumers to adopt new innovations. This is done through free samples and price promotions. Advertising is done extensively when the results are not found positive by distribution of free samples and promotions. Sometimes price promotions and free samples are backed by advertising techniques. Sometimes change agents are used to overcome resistance to adoption. For medical products, hospitals, clinics and physicians of repute are used as change agents.
Rate of Diffusion.
The rate of diffusion can be low or high. Marketers have 2 options that can influence the rate of diffusion.
Skimming Strategy.
This strategy used for major innovations and when the product is in great demand. Prices are set high and it has slow rate of diffusion. The strategy aims at skimming the cream of the market i.e., to take advantage and get the profits in abundance.The segment is small and specific. The segment is price insensitive. It has its own lifestyle sand demographic characteristics, awareness and information advertising is used in this case.The distribution is done from selective outlets.
Penetration Strategy.
In this, there is rapid and widespread diffusion as the product is of low value and is within the reach of many. The product is sold to a General Market by an intensive campaign. The distribution is extensive and the product used is general. It is used in new products which are not major innovations like cold drink, health drinks, coffee etc. The advertising is widespread and other means of promotion are also used.

The distribution is extensive and covering as many outlets as possible. The price is lowland the product is available. The strategy keeps changing with its position on the diffusion curve. All electronic products of major innovation start with the skimming strategy and gradually move down to penetration strategy. The price of computers, television sets, microwave ovens etc., start with a high price and as the product is adopted and many more competitors come in the skimming strategy is changed to penetration strategies. Some products start withal penetration strategy and raise their prices with the widespread acceptance of the product in the market.

Marketing-strategies and rate of diffusion


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