Who Are Early Adopters?
All new companies and/or marketers with new products need to reach the coveted group known as "Early Adopters," those powerful influencers who want to "be first." They don't need to talk with others who have bought the product before. They don't need to see years of research results. And they don't even mind paying a bit more for the privilege of being the leader of the pack.
So, how do you recognize an early adopter? Here's a hint: there are no traditional demographics that can give it away. (Except, possibly, income level).
Early Adopters are:
In our DrawSuccess world, we would say that Early Adopters are most likely to be "Red Geniuses' and "Green Geniuses."
Red Geniuses are the popular, outgoing, fast-paced, people-oriented folks. They are flexible and adaptable to change and love being recognized as being a leader, which means that they will often be the first to purchase or try a new product or service. They're also influential and know a lot of people, so when they like your product, they'll tell everyone they know. In fact, they'll enthusiastically spread the word – even helping you with media interviews!
Green Geniuses are also outgoing and fast-paced, yet they're more driven to succeed. They are also risk-takers, but in a different way. Their focus is on achieving a particular goal, so if your product or service can help them get there, then they'll go for it. And if it helps them beat the competition, all the better.
Who Are The Late Adopters and Laggards?
Late Adopters are cautious and risk-averse. They like the tried-and-true. If you're trying to sell a new product to a Late Adopter, you'll hear questions like, "What are your references?" and "What research can you show?" They will rarely make a decision on their own, but will instead talk to a lot of other people before and do a lot of research before they buy.
In our DrawSuccess world, Late Adopters and Laggards are the "Blue Geniuses" and "Gold Geniuses."
Blue Geniuses are collaborative peacemakers. They don't like trying new things because of the risk involved. They'll worry, "What if someone doesn't like it?" They take a long time to make decisions because they're people-pleasers and want to make sure everyone has bought-in – which is nearly impossible for a new product!
Gold Geniuses are cautious, but for different reasons. They're less concerned about the individuals involved and more worried about accuracy and predictability. Because they're careful planners, it's challenging to get them to try new things that might interrupt the existing process. They need to see a lot of research and data before they buy. Because of their attention to detail, many purchasing agents are Gold Geniuses, so beware! While this is a great skill set to buy commodities, it's counter-productive when considering a new product or service. In fact, they could try to "commoditize" your product, which is the kiss of death for innovators.
"Who else has done this?"
This question – who else has done this? – is a great example of the difference between Early Adopters and Late Adopters.
Early Adopters will ask this question because they want to be first. Late Adopters will ask because they want to check references.
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