Who are Early Adopters for your Startup? – Meaning & their Importance

who are early adopters

Know the Importance of Early Adopters in your Startup

So, you have a business idea and you are quite excited to take it forward.

But who would you approach to see if your idea is worthy enough to become a business.

Who would be benefitting from your innovative solution?

Think of yourself buying a completely new product with quite a few numbers of feedbacks or even no feedbacks at all. You would have surely bought the product to satisfy your need or for solving your prominent problem.

But since you are among those who bought it earlier than the majority, there has to be something else that motivated you to buy it apart from the need.

You are an early adopter of that product!

Who are Early Adopters?

Early adopters are among the first users of a product/ service or technology. They adopt the new product before the majority of the people in the market do so. They also act as the guide for that majority of users and therefore play a significant in taking the product mainstream.
Now the reason – why do they try their hand on a product before the majority does it? The reason can be curiosity, social image, emotional connection with the product, higher tolerance for risk, and most importantly their ability to see the potential of the new product or technology than most people.

The Signs of Early Adopters

  • You can recognize early adopters with the following signs:They search and sign up for early trials.
  • They seek enhanced or different social status and therefore try to be unique and share new products as it makes them feel good.
  • They like to have a competitive edge. They look for products, technology or service that gives them an edge over their competitors (in B2B segment) or ability to progress faster, help or outsmart their colleagues or peers in a B2C segments.
  • They are ready and enthusiastic to use something new that solves their problem or satisfies their desire even if it misses the other prominent features.

Why do you need early adopters? – Their significance in your business

Early adopters are indicators of your product’s first image in the market. Acquiring them is an important step in the development of your early stage product and in recognizing its potential. They:

  • Provide a feedback about your product’s pros and cons that can be of great help to you.
  • Since they are ready to spend money on your product, they can be a source of revenue during your early stages when you need funds for research to enhance or improve your product or technology for widespread adoption.
  • Early adopters are amongst the first to experience your product. Their experience plays a major role in influencing people and determining whether your product or technology will be acceptable to the majority of the population in your target segment or not.  
  • Their positive review or word-of-mouth can increase your product’s reputation and brand value multifold which in turn will help to acquire more customers.

How did the term “early adopters” come into existence?

The book Diffusion of Innovations of 1962 written by Everett Rogers, a professor at Ohio State University first popularized this term which classified the adopters (the customers) into five categories viz. Innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards.

All these categories are put on a technology adoption curve that shows the acceptance process of a new product or technology.

Image Source: LIKEFOLIO

As we can see from the curve, the first category of customers is called innovators. Don’t confuse them with the innovators like Steve Jobs of Apple or Elon Musk of SpaceX. They are ordinary people with a different taste for a new product or technology.  They have the highest risk-taking ability (even more than early adopters) and connected to technology or innovations more than anyone else.

After the innovators come the early adopters. We have already seen their significance in the business.

Early majority are in a way connected to early adopters but open to new ideas less than the early adopters.

Late Majority trust only proven products or technology and adopt them only when majority of population have already adopted.

Laggards are the most conservative among all the categories and are the last ones to adopt the product or technology and they do so when they are not left with any other option.

To Wrap Up

Since early adopters not only take the risk of trying a new product or technology by paying more for it but also promote it if it delivers them the value, it’s important that you listen to them and provide support in all possible ways to solve the problems they face while using your product. 

Do you feel there is something more to be included? Tell us what else you need to know in your startup journey. We will be more than happy to deliver you want you need!