DEFINITION of 'Adopter Categories'

Classification of individuals based on their willingness to try out a new innovation or new product. There are five adopter categories - innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards. Adopter categories were first described by sociologist Everett Rogers in his landmark book "Diffusion of Innovations" published in 1962.

BREAKING DOWN 'Adopter Categories'

Rogers identified key characteristics of each adopter category, such as the fact that early adopters have the highest degree of opinion leadership among the adopter categories, while the laggards are likely to be the oldest and most traditional. The concept of adopter categories is widely used in present-day marketing, especially that of revolutionary new products or services.

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