Lead Users and the Adoption and Diffusion of New Products: Insights from Two Extreme Sports Communities
Marketing Letters, Vol. 18, Nos. 1-2, pp. 15-30, 2006
25 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2008
Date Written: November 22, 2006
Lead users are proposed as a valuable resource for marketers in terms of the (1) development, (2) adoption, and (3) diffusion of new products. We present the first consumer study to provide evidence that the latter two suggestions are justified. First, we find that lead users demonstrate stronger domain-specific innovativeness than more "ordinary" users. Second, lead users perceive new technologies as less "complex" and might therefore be better prepared to adopt them. Third, we find that lead users demonstrate stronger opinion leadership and weaker opinion seeking tendencies. Finally, we discuss the implications of our findings for the marketing of new products.
Keywords: lead users, user innovation, adoption, diffusion, new products, opinion leadership
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