Consumer Innovators: The Key To New Product Success

by Thomas Robertson



The paper reviews the literature on innovators and has empirically tested a model of innovator characteristics. Innovators for a new small home appliance were found to be more venturesome, more socially integrated, more socially mobile, and more financially privileged, but somewhat less cosmopolitan than noninnovators. It is suggested that a desirable new product marketing program should take account of such characteristics at the initial levels of penetration. Advertising and sales strategies based on these variables would appear to stand the best chance of success. It is most likely that innovators for a new home appliance would come from past appliance innovators. Test marketing and experimentation are not sufficient for new product success. Today's marketer requires knowledge of the consumer innovator and how to secure innovator adoption. The innovator can spell success or failure for the product by his acceptance or lack of acceptance and by the proven influence which he exerts over his peers.

California Management Review

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Published at Berkeley Haas for more than sixty years, California Management Review seeks to share knowledge that challenges convention and shows a better way of doing business.

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