This is the differentiation in consumer adoption of new technological innovations. These have been distributed into phases which effectively summarize the demographic groups presented during each stage:
- Innovators – These are risk-oriented, leading-edge minded individuals who are extremely interested in technological developments. They make a fractional segment of the overall consumer population.
- Early Adopters – A larger but still relatively small demographic, these individuals are generally risk-oriented and highly adaptable to new technology. Early adopters follow the innovators in embracing new technology.
- Early Majority – Much larger and more careful than the previous two groups, the early majority are open to new ideas but generally wait to see how they are received before investing.
- Late Majority – Slightly conservative and risk-averse, the late majority is a large group of potential customers who need convincing before investing in something new.
- Laggards – Extremely frugal, conservative, and often technology-averse, laggards are a small population who avoid risks and only invest in new ideas once they are extremely well-established.