Early Adopters: The Key to Developing and Marketing Your Products

by Emily Retherford

2 min read

The success of any small business ultimately depends on developing, marketing, and successfully selling quality products that shoppers buy repeatedly. Utilizing early adopters can be a key ingredient to making this process smoother, more efficient, and more profitable. As a small business owner, you can benefit greatly from understanding exactly how early adopters can assist your marketing, and from knowing ways to track them down, engage them, and entice them into helping you make your company more successful.

Early Adopters and How to Spot Them

Early adopters are individuals who enjoy having access to and trying out new products before the products are readily accessible in the marketplace. According to one statistician, nearly 14% of the world’s population is composed of early adopters, individuals who love trying out the latest products and services, and who are happy to offer their evaluation. The best early adopters are already among your loyal customers. There are three basic early adopter characteristics: they are extremely passionate about solving a problem; they understand the problem your product was created to solve; and they are willing to pay for a good solution.

Early Adopter Benefits

Early adopters are guinea pigs for trying out your products. They are not only happy to be among the first to try one of your newest items but are typically willing to pay for a product even though it may not quite live up to expectations. Early adopters, because they are unafraid of speaking their minds, can be counted on to give you honest feedback. If you claim your store’s brand new organic mascara is waterproof, but an early adopter caught in a rainstorm discovers this isn’t altogether accurate, count on the fact the early adopter will let you know. This is a first line of defense against a potential horde of unsatisfied or angry customers. Finding out that your product doesn’t quite live up to the hype you’ve created around it gives you the opportunity to correct the problem prior to mass marketing the product.

A key benefit of using early adopters is the potential they offer for lots of free advertising via word of mouth. When your new waterproof mascara performs as expected, satisfied early adopters will eagerly share your brilliant new innovation with friends, co-workers, family, and even acquaintances. The word-of-mouth promotion of your new product by early adopters is a valuable resource, as most consumers are twice as likely to trust in and buy a product that someone else reports having used and enjoyed.

Engaging Early Adopters

Once you identify some early adopters within your customer base, it is important to engage them and develop relationships so you can rely on them to regularly assist you with evaluating new products. Let the early adopters know they are important to your business. Making them feel valued and special makes them all the more eager to assist you. Then, when you have new products for them to try, call or email them, and consider throwing in a coupon or discount to sweeten the deal. It is a very small price to pay for a valuable marketing resource.

References & Resources

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