Early Adopters in Marketing: Definition & Overview

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  • 0:01 What Are Early Adopters?
  • 0:43 Traits of Early Adopters
  • 1:35 Marketing to Early Adopters
  • 3:32 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: James Carnrite

James has a masters degree in IT Management.

Early adopters are an important part of the consumer base. They are smart, engaged, and always on the lookout for something new. This lesson explores the traits of the early adopter and outlines plans for marketing to this target group.

What Are Early Adopters?

Early adopters are early customers of new companies, cutting-edge products, and advanced technologies. This consumer group adopts innovation early on. They are usually less concerned with price and risk and more concerned with the opportunity to try new things. This means that they are more willing to accept underdeveloped or pricey products in exchange for early access to what may be a more advanced product. Companies market to early adopters because they have influence over other consumers. Early adopters purchase quickly and advertise new products and technology via word of mouth. They can even be used as guinea pigs to test new products. Early adopters are known for providing candid feedback and suggestions for improvement.

Traits of Early Adopters

Early adopters have a passion for product innovation that most consumers cannot relate to. The early adopter looks at new products and thinks to themselves how the product can be incorporated into their daily needs. They quickly recognize and comprehend the potential value and benefit of the product and how its functionality relates to their needs of usability and sociability. Curious by the 'what if' and the challenges of a new product release, early adopters are much more willing to take a risk with a new product so that they can be associated with the cutting edge technology.

The following are some notable traits related to early adopters:

  • Early adopters compose nearly 15% of the buying population
  • Early adopters are connectors, which is someone who has a rich network of people and tends to stay in touch with them
  • Early adopters provide word-of-mouth advertising

Marketing to Early Adopters

As we have learned already in this lesson, early adopters are folks who live for cutting-edge product releases. They do not want to be on the back end when it comes to knowing about new innovations or trying new products and strive to be the leaders in showing their friends the new look. In other words, they like to be trendsetters and not trend followers. Tailoring the marketing plan for this group is important to the ongoing success of the product. Some key factors in marketing to early adopters include:

Know Who the Early Adopters Are and How to Recognize Them

These folks are intelligent, focused, confident and ready to buy the latest and the greatest of innovative products. They may be subscribers to technology-based magazines and paid gaming. They are knowledgeable about product release dates and the latest innovations.

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