The adoption lifecycle refers to the process by which customers adopt and become familiar with a new product or technology. It outlines the stages that an individual or organization goes through as they become aware of, evaluate, and ultimately decide to use a new product or technology. The adoption lifecycle helps companies understand how to best market and sell their products to potential customers, and it can also help customers understand their own decision-making process when considering the adoption of a new product or technology.
1. Loyal Customers & Innovators
The initial phase of adoption is often characterized by a company’s most loyal customers and fans of their products. In the technology sector, these early adopters are often referred to as “innovators.” However, it could be argued that purchasing a new technology does not necessarily constitute innovation, and the term “enthusiasts” may be more accurate. During this phase, companies with a strong market position often employ a pricing strategy called price skimming, which involves charging high prices to quickly recover investments in research and development.
2. Early Adopters
Early adopters are customers who may be influenced by the first customers to adopt a new product. If a product is truly innovative and represents a significant advancement, it may attract early adopters through word of mouth. On the other hand, a product that is not particularly innovative may still achieve early adoption through targeted marketing efforts.
3. Early Majority & Late Majority
The majority of customers tend to adopt a new product or technology once it becomes widely recognized and understood. At this point, the product or technology may experience a significant increase in sales. By this stage, economies of scale and competition have often resulted in a lower price, which further drives sales momentum.
Laggards are customers who are the last to adopt a new product or technology. There can be various reasons for this. Some customers may not be interested in innovation and prefer to stick with what they are familiar with. Others may not have a pressing need for a particular product or technology, such as a customer who does not watch television often not having a need for the latest model.