Diffusion of Innovation Theory- And What Does it Focus on?

Diffusion of innovations theory and what does it focus on

Today, you can see that the world is progressing very rapidly. Sometimes, you may think that it is because of the rapid technological inventions. Often, you might also feel the cause of it to be the capitalist skills and their communication theories. Is it because of the alluring advertisements that we get on our phones and televisions? Let us find out the actual how and why of this materialistic progress of human lifestyle. Today’s topic- Diffusion of Innovation Theory.

What is the need to understand this theory? 

Do you ever wonder as a businessman what makes people develop? Why do we choose one product over the other after a point in time? What is development? If you are a curious entrepreneur or an intellectual individual, then this is something that you would love to know about. If you are a sociology, commerce, or economics student, you need to know about this enlightening theory. 

How did diffusion of innovations theory come into existence? 

Rogers developed it in 1962. It is the oldest theory in social sciences. You might be wondering as to what makes it so significant and unique? It is the versatile nature of this theory. You may belong to any age group, any stream of education, or any culture or century. But it will not stop being helpful to professionals, marketers, sociologists, entrepreneurs, and students. You will be better able to appreciate this theory when you know more about it. 

What does it focus on? 

In the simplest form, the crux of one of the mass communication theories is that individuals will buy your idea, thing, or product only if they feel it to be novel or innovative. According to this theory, the change of one thing to another does not happen overnight. Various kinds of people have their speed of acceptance of this novel idea. Moreover, it states that the individuals who accept it sooner have a different personality than those who receive it later. 

Now, do you understand the significance of this theory? You can be a part of any industry, but every industry needs to locate its target population. Since this theory explains the personal characteristics, any professional can implement it easier to focus upon their target population. It helps in finding the target population and assists in improvising their product according to the needs of the target population. 

Which industries can make use of the diffusion of innovation theory? 

As you just rightly understood in the above point, this theory can be constructive in product design and launch. Moreover, one can also use it to form insurance policies. The electronics industry can design its products such as home appliances, smartphones, and televisions as per the needs of the target population. For example, the target population’s market is to have more sleek mobile phones; you might have noticed that many companies have launched such products. 

The in-depth knowledge of personal characteristics will help the companies to modify their products or ideas. So, let us know the exciting categorization of five types of people who adopt the new view or thing. Aren’t you excited to know which one are you? 

What are the five types of people who adopt the new idea?

The first category is innovators. These people will genuinely love the try new things as soon as they hear about them or see them somewhere. You will indeed have one such person in your life as a friend or a sibling who will introduce you to new things. You might be a bit scared of trying some hilarious stuff, but these innovators never step down from doing so. Not only do they begin to buy new items first, but they also tend to invent them as well. 

If you are a busy marketer thinking about targeting innovators, you will have to make minimal effort. Instead, you need to highlight the innovative part of your product, and they will be up for it. An example of an innovator can be when an individual looks at an inflatable sofa advertisement on television and orders it without a second thought. 

The second category includes early adopters. As the name suggests, they adopt things and ideas early, but they need to understand whether it will work in reality or not. These are the type of people who think of the welfare of the entire community as being progressive leaders. They are someone who looks for opportunities for change only as a means of social welfare. Their opinions are beyond their times. 

To attract them to your product, you need to make things very practical and valuable for them. You can get early adopters to buy your product by adding an instruction manual and your product or policy benefits. You are not required to add technical information full of jargon. Just convey to them that your product will be of great use, and they will be convinced to purchase it. 

The third category consists of the early majority. They also purchase a new idea before others. These individuals are convinced only when they know that others are getting benefits out of it. They are hesitant to be the rat of the experiments but are also curious enough to know the results. If you want to convince them, you can add reviews to your website. Success stories of others due to usage of your product are enough to motivate them to buy your product. So, are you an innovator, early adopter, or belong to an early majority? 

If your product is very new and you haven’t gathered any success stories or reviews, you can do something that will convey your idea or product compelling. For example, you can give your near and dear ones free samples, record their reactions, and upload them on your website or official social media handles. These are some of the time-saving, pocket-friendly, yet effective ways of convincing the early majority. 

The fourth category of the people in the late majority. These individuals are difficult to convince. It is because they see how many people have benefitted from it. Once they are confident that enough people have benefited from it, they will adopt that new idea or product. However, as they are very doubtful of change, it will take a long to believe in it. Are your parents in this category? 

So, if your product or idea is very new, you should not even attempt to convince this population. It is because all your efforts will be in vain. You cannot make many people purchase your product right in the first month of its launch. They will be convinced by themselves to choose your product or idea when more and more people are buying your vision and are giving positive reviews about it.

The fifth category is laggards. These may include your grandparents. This group of people is the ones who are very traditional and conservative. They feel this compulsive urge to abide by the rules laid out by the tradition. If they do anything apart from it or what their ancestors have used, they don’t feel right. 

If your idea or thing is brand new and wants to get maximum sales and conversions, you can try to convince this population. However, they are tough to convince, so you need to imply a lot of strategies. The most effective one is to tap on their fears. For example, if you are a pharmaceutical company that sells sanitizers, you can advertise the diseases that one can get without sanitizing their hands. 

Another strategy is to include numerical information on your website. They cannot deny practical and factual statistics. Though they are stubborn, they are not delusional. So, you can add the statistics or the survey information relevant to your product or idea in an eye-catching, creative and fun manner. You should be able to show how it affects them to a greater extent. 

You can also make the rest of the four groups convince the late majority to adopt your new idea or product. For example, you must have seen various advertisements where the grandchildren gift smartphones to their grandparents. It is an excellent example of this strategy. 


Hence, this is the diffusion of innovation theory, and it focuses on the ways of different people to accept a new idea or product. You can use this theory to delineate your marketing strategy or advertising strategy. It will also be of great use to locate your target population. You will save a lot of time and energy as you will be focusing on convincing only a selective population. 

If your idea is very new, then your target population will be innovators. Through the innovators, you can try to reach the early adopters and early majority. And further, you will be able to convince the late majority and laggards through the innovators, early majority, and early adopters. So, have you framed your marketing strategy yet? 

Diffusion of Innovation Theory- And What Does it Focus on?

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