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Earlier Adopters

 

Disciplines > Communication > Diffusion > Earlier Adopters

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

While Early Adopters are a distinct group, there is also a more general view of the broad set of people who adopt an innovation earlier than others. As well as Early Adopters, these may be Innovators or at the leading edge of the Early Majority.

People who adopt or otherwise accept an idea, or buy new products earlier than others often display one or more of the following characteristics, in that they:

  • ...are more educated
  • ...have higher social status
  • ...are achievement oriented
  • ...are richer or can borrow
  • ...have high aspirations
  • ...are more empathetic
  • ...are less dogmatic
  • ...are less fatalistic
  • ...are more intelligent and rational
  • ...can cope with uncertainty and risk
  • ...are more favourable towards change
  • ...are more socially oriented
  • ...have more exposure to the media
  • ...actively seek information
  • ...are opinion leaders
  • ...have many different contacts

Example

An engineer always likes to have a new computer and changes it at least once per year.

A student is fascinated by the ideas being presented in lectures.

A teenager loves to be the first person in the 'gang' to see a new movie.

An affluent retiree buys new gadgets just because he can and to add interest to the time he has available.

Discussion

Many of the factors identified here are similar and include notable and perhaps unsurprising patterns, including:

  • People who have a greater disposable income can afford to buy things to 'try them out' without having to worry about the loss of funds.
  • Intelligent and educated people are more likely to understand new ideas and products and find a use for them.
  • Those who are open to ideas are more likely to see them and be ready to explore and investigate further.
  • Those who have less to lose are more likely to try out new ideas and products.
  • People who go looking for ideas are more likely to find them and those who connect with others are more likely to hear about new ideas and products.
  • People with higher status and hence power can afford to be occasionally wrong without losing social position.
  • People who are, or who aspire to be, social leaders need artefacts and symbols of leadership, some of which may be found in new products.

See also

Early Adopters, Innovators

 

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