Kinds of Customers

Every market has different types of customers and each new product or service launched, depends highly on the type of market for its success. Not just the demand by the customers ascertain the fate of new entity but also the class to which majority of buyers belong to. There are five categories in which the customers can be classified into:

InnovatorsFirst 5% – 10% that adopt the product. The try is not necessarily need driven, but can be just for the sake of doing it. They are

·      Willing and daring in trying something new and different.

·      Privileged group, with attitude and plenty of money at their disposal.

·      Show an upward movement in the social ladder.

Early adaptorsNext 10% – 15%. These are the popular, educated people often social leaders who are responsible for the trend setting. It is due to this group that actual diffusion of the product in the market starts. 

Early majorityNext 30%. These people don’t just jump in for the new launch. They wait for the opinions of the others on the performance and other aspects of the product. They consider themselves to be ‘cutting edge’ and ‘above the league’, but they want to make sure about the reliability of the idea.

Late majority – Next 30%. These people wait even longer and are the safest player. They only bet, when they are 110% sure of success.

Laggards – These are remaining 20%. Their main sources of the information are the friends and neighbours. These people do not try anything new, unless and until it is the ultimate need of the hour. Low disposable incomes and fear of debt are the main constraints preventing them from trying new things.

Among the mentioned five categories, innovators and early adaptors plays an important role in the acceptance of the new product, service or idea. These are the groups initially targeted by a company for the success of their new launch. The diffusion of the launch in the market greatly depends on how these groups react to it. So the initial efforts of the company are aimed at targeting these two groups. But the new idea is just a fad, until it is in these two groups. Hence the company can not rely completely on them for the success of their product. If not marketed properly and the rate of diffusion of the product does not catches up, then the idea can die just being a fad.

Therefore the early adaptors need followers, to continue the trend and take the idea into the mainstream for its success. When early adaptors try the new idea, remaining has a choice of whether to try it or not? This is where the majority of the customers get divided into early and late majority. The ‘cool’ factor plays a major role in this division. If with positive feedbacks the association with the new idea is considered to be cool, the early majority picks it up in no time. This is the point, when what started as a fad starts converting into a micro trend. A micro trend can be the youthful version of a fad.

Now its turn of the late majority to join the brand wagon and this the time when the idea is in its full blossom, and after it the laggards start joining the league. As soon as the number of laggards starts growing, the innovators start looking for the new untapped next big ideas available in the market.

The innovators are the people responsible for the birth of a new idea, and bring the early much needed joy to the marketers. While the laggards are responsible for the full fledged success of the idea and brings joy to the financers with creating huge mass markets.

Different age group people fall in these different categories. Generally young people upto the age of 25 falls in the innovators category in markets like India. Although in China also the age group is same, but the upper limit is around late twenties, going even upto 30. Whereas in India people in their 30’s forms the early adaptors and early majority. Those in their 40 and above are the major constituents of late majority and laggards.

With the emerging economy and increase in disposable incomes, both India and china are providing its people a chance to move up in the customer classification ladder. The number of early adaptors is increasing and same is the case with early majority. And with the economy buoyancy and boom the trend is here to stay in both the countries.

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