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decompos-ition is also used (Taylor and Todd, 1995).

Concept of Innovation

An innovation is defined as a product, idea or practice perceived as new by individuals or some other unit of adoption (Rogers, 1995). “Newness” is defined in terms of the level of exposure consumers have to it (Schiffman and Kanuk, 1994). Rogers (1995) suggests five factors for evaluating the perceived attributes of products or services: relative advantage, compatibility, observability, trialability,   and   complexity.    The  first  four  are  positively  and  the  last is negatively associated with adoption. Gatignon and Robertson (1989) bring together  complexity,  compatibility  and trialability as customer learning requirements. Perceived risk was identified by Ostlund (1974) and adopted by Lockett and Litter (1997) and  Daniel (1998). Also suggested as negative factors have been cost and social relevance  (Lockett and Litter, 1997; Gatignon and Robertson, 1989). Such factors may affect an innovation’s rate of adoption (Lockett and Litter, 1997) and in designing a marketing program it is crucial to identify which of these factors are relevant (Kotler, 1997).

Personal Characteristics of Innovators

Consumer innovators are the relatively small group of consumers

who are the early purchasers of a particular new product, although some people may have general tendency to adopt new products. It is crucial for marketers to identify these early adopters and target their initial campaigns to them.

2.5%

13.5%

16 %

34%

34%

Late

Majority

Innovators

Early Adopters

Laggards

Early

Majority

Figure 1: The Sequence & Proportion of Adopter Categories  

Source: Everett M. Rogers, Diffusion of Innovations, 3rd Ed. New York: The Free Press,1983.

Empirical studies have shown that innovators tend to be younger (Schiffman and Kanuk, 1994) and have higher incomes than later adopters or non-innovators (LaBay and Kinnear, 1981). They tend to be more inner-directed (Donnelly, 1970; Lockett and Litter, 1997), more willing to take risks, and to have a higher degree of opinion leadership, that is they receive information and pass it along to others. Moreover, they consistently are characterized by using a product

ABAC Journal Vol. 22, No.3 (September  - December, 2002), pp. 63 - 80

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