Classes of Adopters: Innovators, Early, Late and Laggards Video

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Product Life Cycles: Development, Design and Beyond

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:05 The Product Adoption Lifecycle
  • 1:36 The Five Classes of Consumers
  • 4:51 How Marketers Use the…
  • 5:58 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: John McLaughlin
In this lesson, you will learn how innovative products are adopted by consumers. You will learn the five classes of adopters and the role each plays in this process. You will also learn why it is important for marketers to understand this process in order to successfully introduce innovative products to the marketplace.

The Product Adoption Lifecycle

A.G. Industries has just invented the Anti-Gravity Belt. When you put this amazing new product around your waist and turn it on, you will be lifted off the ground as high as three feet! How will consumers react to this innovative product? Different classes of consumers will adopt this product at different times throughout the lifecycle of the new product. This adoption process follows a recognizable pattern and is known as the product adoption lifecycle.

The product adoption lifecycle describes the way a new product progresses through its lifespan, from the time it is first introduced to the marketplace until it is no longer available. New products are initially adopted by 'innovators' who represent 2.5% of the market. The next class of consumers who will adopt the product are the 'early adopters' who make up 13.5% of the market. They are followed first by the 'early majority,' and then by the 'late majority,' who each represent 34% of the market. As the product enters its final stage of the product adoption lifecycle, it is adopted by 'laggards,' who make up the final 16% of the market. Now that you know about the five different classes of adopters, let's talk a little more about each of these five groups of consumers.

The Five Classes of Consumers

These five different types of consumers will all react differently to the Anti-Gravity Belt. Each consumer group will adopt the Anti-Gravity Belt at different times and for different reasons. The five types of consumers are:

Innovators - Venturesome; although they make up a very small part of the total market, innovators play a very important role. They are interested in anything new, and are quick to adopt new and innovative products. Innovators knew about the Anti-Gravity Belt months before it was introduced and paid a high price to be among the first to have this new product.

Early adopters - Young and restless; early adopters are opinion leaders. They pay attention to what the innovators have discovered and find a practical use for the innovation. They then communicate to their followers the usefulness of the new product. They play a very important role by influencing the attitude and changing the behavior of the later adopters. An early adopter who is a house painter learned about the Anti-Gravity Belt from an innovator and bought one to help him paint ceilings. He told all his colleagues how much easier and faster he could paint high places with his new Anti-Gravity Belt.

Early majority - Value shoppers; the early majority carefully observe the early adopters, but wait to adopt innovative products until they are sure they will get value from them. The early majority will only adopt a new product if they are sure the new product will provide usefulness to their lives - and not be a waste of their time and money. Two years after the Anti-Gravity Belt is invented, a member of the early majority hears about the new product from the guy painting his house. Still, the early majority waits until he has also seen advertising and read an article in the paper about the benefits of the Anti-Gravity Belt before he adopts the product.

Late majority - Skeptics; the late majority wait until an innovation has been accepted by a majority of consumers and the price has dropped to adopt the new product. The late majority typically adopt innovative products because they feel as if everyone else is doing it. Five years after the Anti-Gravity Belt is invented, a member of the late majority buys an Anti-Gravity Belt because his son tells him he wants one so that he can play basketball with all his friends who already have one.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account