The Innovation Model or 5 Types of Adopter

Innovation Model

In his book, Diffusion of Innovations, Everett Roger describes the Innovation Model as 5 types of product adopters and provides insight into each. This model aids businesses in comprehending how consumers gradually engage with and adopt new goods or technologies. Companies will utilise it while introducing an existing product into a new market, altering a current product, or launching a new product or service.

What are the five types of adopters?


The initial users of a new product in the Innoval Model are innovators. They look for the potential of novel concepts and fresh approaches. They naturally take risks. Compared to other adopter types, innovators are typically wealthier. At the time of release, products usually cost more money.

Innovators are conscious that some of the goods they use won’t provide the benefits claimed or won’t appeal to a broad audience. They feel at ease taking risks. Innovators frequently have a connection to the specific field where a new product originates, and they often network with other innovators in the product categories they choose.

Early Adopters

In the Innovation Model, early adopters are the second group of consumers who buy products after innovators. Within every market area, these are frequently the individuals with the most influence. Early adopters often write reviews and content about new items they firmly believe in or reject. They usually show some “thinking leadership” for further prospective adopters. They may be very active on social media.

Early adopters typically possess a moderately high social position (which facilitates thought leadership) and more financial resources than later adopters. They generally have high levels of education and a moderate attitude toward risk. They tend to be less risk-taking than innovators, though. Early adopters choose to invest in a particular product with more thought. In making this judgment, they will attempt to gather more knowledge than an innovator.

Early Majority

The early majority is the next group of adopters in the Innovation Model, to show up once a product appeals to the general market. This group of adopters wants to ensure that their frequently more constrained resources are used wisely on items and are moderately risk-averse. They are also typically people with higher social status than the ordinary. While not necessarily thought leaders in their own right, they often interact with thought leaders and consider their ideas when making adoption choices.

Late Majority

Compared to the previous three classes of adopters of the Innovation Model, the late majority is somewhat more doubtful about the acceptance of products. They tend to avoid taking chances and only invest in tried-and-true solutions. In general, as you might anticipate, this group of adopters is less well-off, has lower social standing, and engages in less connection with innovators and thought leaders. The late majority in a field seldom ever provides any thinking leadership.


Laggards are the last attendees to join the adoption party in the Innovation Model. Their presence usually signals that a product is about to go wrong. Laggards are highly risk-averse, and favour established practices over new ones. Laggards typically have poor socioeconomic positions and rarely seek advice from anyone outside their small social circle. However, it is essential to remember that laggards frequently consist of older people who are less tech-savvy than younger generations.


The classifications of the Innovation Model are helpful for broad market entrance planning, but they shouldn’t be applied to characterise people. It is crucial to understand that, as with any generalisation, not every member of a class of adopters will adhere to that class’s typical behaviours. Both high-earning, well-educated, risk-taking laggards and low-earning, poorly-educated, non-thought-leader early adopters will exist. There are also a lot of elderly folks that are tech-savvy.

Innovation Model
Innovation Model, designed by The Mobile Spoon

How does the Innovation Model affect your strategies for product adoption?

You need to focus your marketing to each audience separately, as you know now that the adoption path runs from innovator to laggard with three steps along the way.


The first group to target is the innovators. The marketing team should locate these individuals early in the product development process. Marketing will pique these individuals’ interests, invite them to participate in early user trials, and win their support. User research with innovators can be beneficial from a design standpoint in creating prototypes before a more mass-market final design.

Early Adopters

To encourage early adopters to share their ideas with individuals who follow their thought leadership, marketers may decide to provide them with additional technical insights or perspectives from behind-the-scenes of development. Following innovators, early adopters may also be approached before a product launch. Again, the focus will be placed on research into the demands of this industry.

Any product’s mass market launch must appeal to and benefit early adopters to persuade these thought leaders to support further product adoption.

Early Majority

On the other hand, the early majority will likely be targeted through more general marketing strategies in the hopes that their relationship with the early adopters will encourage word-of-mouth advertising. Through product iteration and delivering enhancements to the product, designers may wind up catering to the early majority.

Late Majority

The late majority will likely arrive once product diversification takes place and the product seizes a specific market niche. To encourage customers to choose one product over another in a cutthroat market, marketing to this group is probably less aggressive in direct marketing and more reliant on special offers and incentives.


Targeting laggards with direct marketing may be utterly unprofitable. Instead, pricing and general product knowledge will likely spur adoption from this group. Probably, the product will already decline by the time they accept it.

For more details and tools on innovation and product development, please read:

Innovation Model and adopter categories with examples

When the iPhone was introduced, Apple counted on its existing customer base to test the new device and prove its viability in a larger market.

Similar to how Facebook was designed. First, to appeal to a group of college grads and students who would be early adopters. And later, they would serve as informal and unofficial brand advocates for the service.

Innovation Model and Cultural Transformation

Early adopters who stood in line for hours or even days to purchase the most recent iPhone are on the curve’s left side. Contrarily, those on the far right are never satisfied or faithful. Do not waste time and resources by trying to convert them. Better for the business to get more familiar with the far right side of this curve. Even while some of them might choose to work with you, if they find a better offer, they’ll almost certainly choose one of your competitors instead.

Being incredibly clear about your “Why” will help locate people who share your values. The 15–18% on the left side of the bell curve will persuade the others to follow if you have enough of them.

Conclusion Innovation model

The concept of the Innovation Model relates the various client groups to the stages of adopting an innovation. Different people have different levels of openness to novelty and innovation. Businesses must therefore comprehend how their innovation can transition from a niche market to a mass market (which always has more than 60% market share) and how it can support or expedite this evolution. David Gousset.

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