Consumers go through five stages in the process of adopting a new product: 1. Awareness: The consumer becomes aware of the new product, but lacks information about it. 2. Interest: The consumer seeks information about the new product. 3. Evaluation: The consumer considers whether trying the new product makes sense. 4. Trial: The consumer tries the new product on a small scale to improve his or her estimate its value. 5. Adoption: The consumer decides to make full and regular use of new product. This model suggests that the new-product marketer should think about how to help consumers move through these stages.
Individual differences in Innovativeness People differ greatly in their readiness to try new products. In each product area, there are “consumption pioneers” and early adopters. Other individuals adopt new products much later. Time of Adoption of New Innovations The five adopters groups have differing values. Innovators are venturesome—they try new ideas at some risk. Early adopters are guided by respect—they are opinion leaders in their communities and adopt new ideas early but carefully.
The early majority is deliberate—although they rarely are leaders, they adopt new ideas before average person.
The late majority is skeptical—they adopt an innovation only after a majority of people have tried it. Finally, laggards are tradition bound—they are suspicious of changes and adopt the innovation only when it has become something of a tradition itself. This adopter classification suggests that an innovating firm should research the characteristics of innovators and early adopters and should direct marketing efforts toward them.
In general, innovators tend to be relatively younger, better educated, and higher in income than later adopters and non-adopters.