Explain what you mean by “Adopter Categories”.

Briefly elaborate the concept of Adopter in the context of the Consumer Behavior?
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"“Adopter categories” refer to a classification scheme amongst members’ of the target segment(s), which illustrates where one consumer stands in relation to another consumer with respect to time, that has lapsed between the introduction of the new product and service and the adoption by a consumer(s). Researchers have classified consumers into adopter and non-adopter categories, which range from two or three or five category classifications. It is noteworthy that the consumers would be classified based on the nature of the good or service. Roger’s has proposed a classification of adopters, according to which consumers can be divided into five categories based on the time taken by them to adopt a product. These five adopter categories are innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards. Based on research, it has been observed that the five categories when plotted on a graph, lead to a bell-shaped normal distribution curve. The five categories are explained as follows: a) Innovators: Innovators comprise 2.5 percent of the target market(s) adopters; they are those consumers’ who are the first to go and purchase a new product or service offering. They purchase the new product and service offering not because they possess a need, but because they desire new ideas and concepts, and seek product and service innovations. They are high on self-confidence, and are always eager to try out new products/services. They have access to information about such new offerings, and are quick to purchase; one, because they have the interest and inclination to buy the “new”; and two, because they have the purchasing power and the access. It is important to mention here, that innovators are not “generic”; they are in most cases “specific” to a product and service type. b) Early adopters: The next 13.5 percent of the target market(s) adopters are called early adopters. These are those consumers’ who purchase the new product and service offering not because they are fascinated towards the “new”, but because they possess a need. They generally tend to have some idea on the product/service category, and after gathering some more information about the product and or brand, they go in for purchase. Early adopters rely on group norms and also turn out to be good opinion leaders, and could be easy targets for the marketer. c) Early majority: The early majority is similar to the early adopter in the sense that they buy the product/service offering because they possess a need and want to fulfill it; however, they are not as quick as the early adopters and take longer to enter into purchase. This is because unlike the earlier two categories, the early majority does not have much interest in the product/service category. Thus, the consumers that fall into this category have to collect information, evaluate it, deliberate carefully and then take a decision; thus, the process takes longer. The early majority make up the next 34 percent of the adopters. d) Late majority: The next 34 percent of the adopters are referred to as the late majority. They are referred to as “late,” because i) members of their social class, reference group and peer group have already made the purchase; and the social influence is strong, and ii) they themselves have evaluated the new product and or service and are ready to buy it. They have a need, and after careful thought and deliberation as well as with social influence and pressure, the “late majority” makes the purchase. By nature they are skeptical and confirm to social pressure. Interpersonal communication has a major role to play. e) Laggards: The laggards are the last to adopt a new product or service offering, and as such make up the last 16 percent of the target market. They are slow in buying the innovative offering because, i) they are uninvolved with the product and service; ii) they do not possess much information; iii) they remain uninfluenced by social pressure, and social ties are not very strong; iv) they believe in making routine purchases and prefer to buy the “familiar”, than the “unfamiliar”. Source:"
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