Adopter Categories

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Definition: Adopter Categories

Adopter categories can be defined as dividing product adopters on the basis of time and level of willingness with which they tried or will try the product/service. Adopter categories breaks the customer adoption journey over a period of time. Adopters are customers who have started using or exploring the product offerings.

Market researchers have classified consumers into five categories on the basis of their adoption of a product during different stages of that product’s life cycle. The 5 adopter categories are Innovators, Early adopters, Early majority, Late majority and Laggards. Adopter categories are defined as a part of the Diffusion of Innovation Theory.


Characteristics of Adopter Categories

1. Innovators: Innovators are risk takers and they seek changes. They are the first one to buy a new product. They try the product in its initial introduction phase.

2. Early adopters: Early adopters are prestige oriented opinion leaders. They have higher social status, financial liquidity, education. They use the product during its late introduction phase of its life cycle.

3. Early majority: They are the leading segment of the market, about one third of the target market. Early Majority have above average social status and are not opinion leaders. They come into picture during the growth phase of the product.

4. Late majority: Followers of the early majority, typically sceptical about an innovation, have below average social status and little financial liquidity. They are about 36 percent of the target market. They try the product in its late growth and maturity phase.

5. Laggards: Conservative, price conscious segment, aversion to change-agents. They are oldest and most traditional. They show their willingness to use the product in its late maturity phase and diminishing phase.


Examples of Adopter Categories

1. Innovators: People who are and will be thronging apple stores for Apple watch.

2. Early adopters: People in India who are now exploring ecommerce.

3. Early majority: People using cloud services

4. Late majority: People who have just started using debit/credit cards

5. Laggards: Those who are buying Apple iPhone 4(with respect iPhone, these people are laggards)

Hence, this concludes the definition of Adopter Categories along with its overview.

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