The Law of Diffusion and Innovation

If you are currently working on releasing an innovative product or piece of technology to the market, or have plans to, you'll definitely want to read the rest of this.

What if I told you that no matter the 'innovative product' once you reach a certain level of the adoption of your new product/technology/idea, you can achieve mass-market success. Intrigued?

I first heard about this concept from Simon Sinek, who comes from a marketing background and spoke about this at his Ted Talk and written about in his book ‘Start With Why

The theory is that every single person on the planet fits into one of these five groups:

  • 2.5% of the population are 'Innovators': These are the people who buy the gadget as soon as it's released despite knowing it could be a failure or not work as perfectly as intended. (Also known as that mate you have who waited in line to buy the first Apple Watch)
  • 13.5% are 'Early Adopters': These are the ones who object to queuing overnight and would rather wait a little longer order the product online and get it delivered. They are still one of the first to get the latest gadget.
  • 34% are 'Early Majority': These are the types who know about that new product and have a few friends and colleagues who have the item too, but just haven’t got round to getting it yet.
  • 4% are 'Late Majority': They are usually sceptical about having the latest 'thing' hence they jump on board after the social average have adopted the new technology/product. 
  • 16% are 'Laggards': Also known as your Mum, Dad, or Grandparents. They purchase the products because everyone has one and society almost forces them to catch-up.

law of diffusion

The image above sets out to explain that for a product to reach critical mass it must already be in use by 'Early Adopters' and 'Early Majority' first, to reach the tipping point found between the two groups.

It's quite a profound theory that makes a lot of sense. We all know someone who fits within each of those segments. What I find bizarre is as how this theory it isn't common-knowledge (unless you have read Simon Sinek's books and videos).

If as an entrepreneur you are due to release a product or are currently working on one, perhaps you should look to target your marketing solely to those 'Innovators' and 'Early Adopters' and let the rest catch up. No point wasting your time twisting their arm, let the social proof and word of mouth do that for you.

So what segment would you say you belong to? Is this something you have used in the past to launch your first or multiple businesses? Being 85,000 strong, perhaps you are considered as 'Early Adopters'?

Any thoughts you have can be posted in comments below.

 


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Article author

Simon Barros

Hiive Coordinator

Author

Simon Barros

Hiive Coordinator



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