How the market adopts an innovation

How the market adopts an innovation

We talk a lot here about innovation and its subtle (but important) difference to the invention


Simply put, the innovative product is one that solves a real problem in a market of uncertainty. That is, it is the invention that has already been to the market and is generating value for its target audience.

However, we know that the adoption of innovation by the market does not happen uniformly. Within the same target audience, some people are more open to embracing products and services that did not exist before, and others who end up adopting when that product, at the limit, should no longer be called innovation.

Think about launching an innovative product - it could be the first generation of the iPhone, or Uber (or any other). The spread and therefore the adoption of innovative products take time…

The adoption of innovation

InventHelp identified some of the most important characteristics for adopting innovation:

Relative advantage: The degree to which an innovation is better than the idea preceding it.

Compatibility: is the degree to which given innovation is consistent with adopters' values, needs and experiences.

Testability: it's the degree to which innovation can be experienced. An innovation that can be tested represents less uncertainty for the individuals considering adopting it.

Observability: the degree to which the results of a given innovation are observable. The easier it is to visualize the results, the less uncertainty and therefore the greater the likelihood of adoption. This stimulates discussions about the new idea within the social system in which the adopter is a part, facilitating the evaluation and thus its adoption by his contacts.

By answering the first question more objectively and didactically, some innovations are more quickly adopted because they have a high relative advantage, respect the values and needs of the target audience, are not difficult to understand or use, can be tested, and their results are more effective and easy to measure.

There are 5 categories of adopters:

Innovators: are adventurers obsessed with innovation. This desire to test new ideas leads innovators to expand their circle of contacts and to venture into more cosmopolitan relationships. Often being innovative has some prerequisites, such as being financially able not to suffer from losing money on innovations that have not been successful, and being able to experiment with sometimes complex and untested technologies. They can handle high levels of uncertainty and are extremely important because they have the role of bringing these new ideas to the other adopter profiles.

Early adopters: This adopter category has a high degree of leadership in their relationships. Potential adopters typically seek to see what early adopters are talking about innovation before adopting it. They know that to maintain their position they must use innovations and give their assessment. They play a major role because it is people who reduce the degree of uncertainty about innovation by adopting it and communicate their assessment and results to their contacts, spreading to the initial majority.

Initial Majority: This category is made up of a larger number of people who adopt new ideas soon after they have already been tested by early adopters. People in this category interact a lot with their peers, but they do not usually occupy a leading position in the diffusion of new technologies. However, they play an important role because they are among the early adopters and the late majority.

Late majority: is the category composed of people more skeptical to new ideas. These people will adopt new technologies after the social system average. Adoption can be due to an economic issue proven by the adoption of innovation, or social pressure from your network. But the security given by the very low degree of uncertainty is the main feature of this category.

Latecomers: They are the last to adopt an innovation in a given social system. When latecomers adopt, there are possibly even more innovative new products leaving the old one obsolete.

As you can imagine is a delicate phase for adopting innovation. This is the moment when, if innovation has positive results with innovators and early adopters, it can be spread by these groups to the great mass of that social system.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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