How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
The late majority represent about 34% of the population and come into play after the early majority have adopted the idea.
The late majority are generally risk-averse and their watchwords are 'cheap and easy'. They know the idea is there or become aware of it through their early majority neighbors. But it still looks difficult to them and they will put off adopting it until it has been developed as far as possible and is as easy as possible to adopt.
The late majority are classic procrastinators, knowing that something is useful and inevitable, but still putting things off as late as possible.
A busy manager knows that he should go on the new leadership training course but he feels the work in hand is more important and the new ways, whilst fairly sensible, are not that important. Eventually, with much prodding from the learning and development group, he attends one of the training sessions and starts to use the methods prescribed.
A person notices that a new mobile phone technology is becoming popular, but the phones are very expensive and seem complex. They know that one day they will buy one, but hang on until the price drops and there are friends who can help make the thing work properly.
Apple reached the mass markets with products that are easy to use (though still many late majority people have not bought them). PC prices were much lower as they competed more on price and have reasonable usability, so reaching deeper into the late majority.
The late majority are the last significant market segment and are consequently very important for extending the product lifecycle. They are, however, quite different from the Early Majority.
As the late majority want 'cheap and easy' you will have to compete on either price or usability or both (depending on your competitors). They have less money for your products and are more likely to shop around or negotiate with you.
Opinion leaders in the late majority are typically bargain-hunters. They point to the latest, greatest deal and can be the bane of marketers who are trying to avoid price competition.
As the market matures, some competitors will drop out and mergers and acquisitions will be come common. Increasingly, only the fittest will survive and ultimately those who develop new products and play to new markets. An effective portfolio has products playing to all diffusion segments at the same time.