Classification of consumers on the basis of their degree of readiness to try a new product. Market researchers have identified five categories that exist in every market segment. Starting with those with the highest readiness to try, they are (1) Innovators: venturesome people and risk takers who are the very first users; comprising about 2.5 percent of the target market, (2) Early adopters: prestige oriented opinion leaders, about 13.5 percent of the target market, (3) Early majority: the leading segment of the mass market, about 34 percent of the target market, (4) Late majority: followers of the early majority, also about 36 percent of the target market, (5) Laggards: conservative, price conscious segment, about 14 percent of the target market. See also 'adoption process' and 'diffusion of innovation.'
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