Are You an Early Adopter?

Charlene Walters, MBA, PhD
3 min readSep 1, 2022
Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

You’re probably familiar with the marketing terms referring to the category a person falls into in terms of the stage at which they’re willing to adopt a new product or service. These categories include innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards. An innovator is someone who is one of the first to adopt a new product or idea. This category includes a really small percentage of people, typically less than 2%. Innovators are willing to take a risk and be the first ot buy a product (despite the risk/cost). In fact, they love being first.

Early adopters come next. They are influenced by thought leaders and innovators and are willing to jump on board towards the early end of adoption. They like to have the latest products and services. The early majority is the next category, and consists of those who are still on the earlier end of product adoption but act with more consideration (after the innovators and early adopters). They don’t adopt new products before the average consumer.

The late majority are those who may be a little more reluctant to try something new, and only adopt a new product after a lot of other people have already done so. Finally, laggards are those who are somewhat stuck in their ways and will be the last ones to adopt.

You may be wondering what the category that you fall into says about you. Innovators and early adopters hear about something and adopt it right away. They are often younger and more willing to take a gamble with their money/time. They want to be among the first to have something- the latest and greatest. Most people, however, fall into either the the early majority or the late majority- the earlier group wanting to keep up with others and the later majority eventually giving in to a purchase once the product has gained acceptance.

So, where do you fall on the product adoption spectrum? For me, it has always varied by the type of product I’m considering and my level of interest in it. The more interested I am in something and the more it solves a problem for me personally, the more likely I am to be an early adopter and give it a try. If I feel that I don’t need a replacement for a product, or that what I have is good enough, than I am more likely to dig my heels in and become one of the late majority. I believe that many others have a similar purchasing process.

I have always found consumer purchasing behavior fascinating. I even wrote my doctoral dissertation on the topic. There is so much that goes into a purchasing decsision, involving many different factors (comfort, price, word of mouth, ease of use, etc.). So, are you like me? Do you find it varies by product or are you consistently an early (or late) adopter?

~Charlene Walters is a business and higher education consultant, entrepreneurship/mindset mentor, corporate trainer, university professor, the author of Launch Your Inner Entrepreneur and TV host of Launch which is now streaming on Roku, Appl TV and Amazon Fire (DB TV).

Charlene Walters, MBA, PhD

I'm a Business Mentor, Writer/Ghostwriter, Corporate Trainer, Curriculum Consultant, TV host and Author: