The product lifecycle curve consists of 3 distinct segments: Early, Middle and Late adapters. But is it possible to motivate the late adapters to function as early adapters? Quite an intriguing proposal ! Let us look at certain characteristics that define the late adapters and certain solutions that can be worked out by brands to achieve it:
1. Non-risk taking:
The late adapters are characterized by a non-risk taking attitude. They are a bit averse to new innovations until they feel it has no risk associated with it. This is perhaps the biggest reason for their late arrival in the lifecycle curve.
A possible solution: Established and trusted brands can launch products and focus their campaigns on the importance of the innovations they have brought out and how it will be a need in times to come and not just a want. It is important that the brand should have a reputed and trustworthy image in the consumer's mind.
Another important factor to consider which affects the mindset of the late adapters. The chances of attracting them is inversely proportional to the price to a great extent. A new product is bound to be priced higher due to costs involved in R&D and promotion.
A possible solution: Despite being higher priced, the promotion campaign should focus on providing value for money higher than available products. That should attract a significant percentage of the late adapters.
3. From follower to leader
The late adapters inevitably develop a characteristic of following others. This mindset needs to change if the late adapters are to be transformed to early adapters.
A possible solution: Focus the campaign as one having universal appeal. The product will not appear exclusive, but that is what attracts the late adapters. A possible example can be the advertisements of Big Bazaar which shows everyone from celebrities shopping at its retail stores.
Now let us consider that the campaigns succeed. What is the result? The curve of the early adapters will have a greater steep, more people will purchase the product in middle stage of the curve and a new set of consumers ( who might have otherwise not even been part of the life cycle curve) will join as late adapters. Thereby increasing the area under the curve and hence higher sales and greater chance for the success of the brand. In fact it should look something like this:
Food for thought: Will such a strategy reduce Brand Equity?