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Laggards

 

Disciplines > Communication > Diffusion > Laggards

Description | Example | Selling to | See also

 

Description

Laggards are the last market segment for innovations and may take up 16% of the market.

Whilst the early and late majority will happily adopt the idea or product, the laggards will resist to the end. When the hear of the idea they will think that it is too much trouble to adopt or just plain wrong. They are happy with what they have and will avoid having to change.

In business change scenarios, senior managers and others in positions of power who are laggards can completely upset or hold up the change. Laggards can be otherwise deceptive, appearing to adopt ideas whilst actually undermining them.  

Example

A person is still using a typewriter, having concluded that wordprocessors and computers are just too much trouble and rather expensive. As their friends keep buying newer systems, they feel vindicated in still using their old IBM golfball machine.

An entire workforce sees new working methods as de-skilling their jobs and likely to make numbers redundant. They go on strike rather than change their ways. Eventually, the company becomes uncompetitive and closes down.

Selling to Laggards

In a word, don't bother. Laggards will detest your product, you, and all you represent. Better to spend your energies developing new markets.

Laggards, like innovators, often live at the edges of social groups and many are not particularly concerned about what other people think about them. This makes them difficult to persuade using the usual gamut of social influence techniques.

People are laggards for many reasons. Some are angry for deep reasons and have retreated inside their fortress selves. Some are in love with the old ways. Some fear the future. Some are just happy with where they are and do not need to change. If you really need to move them, then you will need to get inside their heads, almost one by one.

See also

 

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