What is 'Early Majority'

The early majority is the first sizable segment of a population to adopt an innovative technology. The early majority tends to be roughly 34% of the population, and will adopt a new product after seeing it used successfully by either "innovators" and "early adopters" that they know personally.

BREAKING DOWN 'Early Majority'

People in the early majority are less affluent and less educated than innovators and early adopters, but are willing to take a chance with a new product. Populations in innovation adoption are broken into five primary segments: innovators (the first to adopt an innovation), early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards. Companies use the diffusion of innovation theory to evaluate how long it will take a new product to be adopted by at least 50 percent of the population. "Innovators" and "early adopters" tend to try a new product out relatively quickly, but it may take a while for the early majority to feel comfortable enough with the technology to make a purchase.

For example, the first iPhone, launched in 2007, cost $600. Two months later, Apple lowered the price to $400; in June 2009, the price fell again to $200 and the phone offered twice the storage. Nonetheless, early adopters camped out in front of Apple stores and other retailers in 2007 to get their hands on the first version. Early majorities are much more likely to wait for the $200 version and might only purchase it after personally hearing stories from innovators and early adopters, who've used the product.

Marketing to the Early Majority

It’s much easier to get the attention of an early adopter than it is to entice the early majority to try out an innovative product. That’s because early adopters are hardwired to try new products, and the early majority aren’t. That doesn't necessarily mean the early majority doesn't like new products. They're just nowhere near as excited about them as the innovators and early adopters. 

The early majority find comfort being part of the herd. Yes, they are more trendy than the late majority, but they are still part of the majority. That’s what makes them so valuable to brands. Early majorities are vast in numbers and they stick with a product. And once they find a product they like, they buy it over, and over, and over again.

By contrast, early adopters love, love, love to try new things. The experience of "new" can be more important than whatever benefit the product promises to deliver. Their appetite for "new" can fool marketers into thinking they have a hit product.

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