Can early adopters be big companies?

Early adopters are users who very early Use innovative products and thus set new trends. Thanks to her Trendsetter role they can also act as brand ambassadors for companies. In this article, you will find out what exactly this term means and you will receive ten tips on how you can succeed in attracting such early adopters for new products.

Early adopter vs. innovator

In the sense of Everett Rogers' diffusion theory, five categories of users of a product or service are distinguished. As Innovators describes the first 2.5 percent of users who try out a new technology on principle, simply because it is new. In doing so, they are ready to take significant risks.

This is followed by the Early adopters. They make up 13.5 percent of the users and are quite similar to the innovators. They are also willing to take risks and always want to try out the latest technology, but pay more attention to their reputation and are not quite as willing to take risks. For this reason, they are often trendsetters who bring new innovations to the masses.

Early Adopter vs. Late Adopter

Are early adopters Early adopters of products. They are considered to be particularly willing to experiment. For this reason, they buy new product versions at a very early stage and are neither put off by the high price nor by minor technical flaws. You are happy to give feedback on these and make suggestions for improvement.

Therefore, early adopters are also seen as exciting sparring partners for product developers to critically examine and improve prototypes. Some products are even initially distributed specifically to a test audience from early adopters and only optimized in a second step.

Late adopter on the other hand (also called latecomers or laggards) are people who only buy new things when they are cheaper, better or safer. They form the last user group and only turn to products when the early adopters have long considered the next innovation. Late adopters are therefore less suitable as test customers for new product launches.

Early Majority, Late Majority and Laggards

The early adopters were followed by other types of customers, who, however, only switch to new products later:

  • Early majority: It follows the early adopters after a certain time. As soon as a product has arrived in this user group, it is in the process of establishing itself as the standard. For early adopters, practicality and usefulness play a much greater role than “coolness” and the innovation factor.

  • Late majority: These are customers who only use new high-tech products when they have established themselves as a standard product and their added value is obvious.

  • Laggards: The last user group only uses a new product when the familiar predecessor model or technology is no longer available on the market and they are forced to devote themselves to the product (which is no longer so new).

Early adopters as pioneers and trendsetters

Early adopters are not only used as test customers, they can also Brand ambassadors for a company. For example, they can receive the product before the official market launch in order to increase its awareness in their networks and thus generate greater demand.

In the next section you will therefore receive specific suggestions on how you can address early adopters with your products.

10 tips to attract early adopters to your product

There are various options available to you to address a larger group of early adopters. We present ten of them here:

1. Get active in web forums

Almost every topic has its own on the internet Web forumwhere like-minded people and experts exchange ideas and share their knowledge. For software and PC topics, for example, there is the forum.

Here, as a company, you can actively participate in discussions, draw attention to yourself with tips or expert know-how and also present your products.

Make sure, however, that you adhere to the forum rules and first find out whether you are allowed to present your own products. 

2. Use Facebook or LinkedIn groups

Many people also exchange ideas in the groups on social networks Facebook and LinkedIn about products and companies. Here you can take part in discussions and give tips, similar to a web forum.

In this way you can quickly develop an expert status on a specific topic and then present your product. Since you provided added value in the first step with well-founded contributions, you will also be perceived positively by early adopters who would like to get to know your product.

3. Use the hashtag search on Instagram to find suitable influencers

You can use the hashtag search relevant terms to your product and get to the profiles of influencers who might be interested in your products. You can then contact them and send a cooperation suggest for your new product.

However, it is advisable to interact with the influencer via content in the first step, as in the groups and forums. For example, you can like, share and comment on relevant content with meaningful thoughts or additions or provide special technical input.

4. Use your own corporate blog

On your company blog, you can use Blog posts report on planned innovations and disseminate these contributions via your social media channels and / or newsletters. In this way, early adopters can be made aware of your new products.

5. Start a podcast

Podcasts are now very popular. They are well suited to to present innovative products and addressing early adopters. In addition, you can usually reach your listeners with a podcast in private, everyday situations, such as driving a car or subway or on the couch, and explain to them in detail all the advantages of your new products.

It is only important that you do not do too much product advertising in your podcast - ideally you present your products using storytelling. When your product is wrapped in a compelling story, listeners don't feel as though they are listening to a commercial, they stay interested.

6. Offer a separate forum for early adopters

As soon as early adopters start using your product, it is advisable to offer you your own forum where they can talk to each other change can. For example, you can set up your own Facebook or LinkedIn group, exclusively for early adopters. You can also get regular feedback in the group. Alternatively, you can also regularly inquire about individual experiences by e-mail.

7. Consider early adopters as VIP customers

Early adopters are yours most valuable customersbecause they bought your product although it may not be fully developed, could be faulty and may become cheaper within a short period of time. We therefore advise you to take a lot of time for all concerns of your early adopters, to answer their questions quickly and to inform them regularly about new developments. 

8. Offer pre-releases

Pre-releases are an ideal way to Reward early adopters. For example, you can offer them access to other pre-releases or, in the case of a software product, grant them access to additional new functions.

9. Apply the skimming strategy

Skimming is a price sequencing strategy that is often used when new products are launched. Here is the Price very high at first and then decreases over time. When it comes to market launches, a high price often suggests a special quality and exclusivity. This particularly appeals to early adopters who are also willing to spend more than the customer average on a new product.

10. Offer mobile options for payment

Early adopters are mostly digital-savvy and like to use mobile online shopping and mobile payment methods such as Google Wallet, Apple Pay or Android Pay. That's why you can with such Mobile payment methods Reach out to early adopters and encourage them to buy your products.

As test customers, early adopters can provide helpful suggestions for improvement, set new trends and attract additional users. That way they can be essential to Success of new products contribute. Do you have an innovative product? Then the tips mentioned can help to attract early adopters!

Cover picture: Harbucks / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Originally published January 19, 2021, updated January 19, 2021

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