New Product Diffusion with Independents and Imitators

Marketing Science, Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 400-421

Posted: 15 May 2009

See all articles by Christophe Van den Bulte

Christophe Van den Bulte

University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department

Yogesh V. Joshi

University of Maryland - Department of Marketing

Date Written: May 2007

Abstract

We model the diffusion of innovations in markets with two segments: influentials who are more in touch with new developments and who affect another segment of imitators whose own adoptions do not affect the influentials. This two-segment structure with asymmetric influence is consistent with several theories in sociology and diffusion research, as well as many "viral" or "network" marketing strategies. We have four main results. (1) Diffusion in a mixture of influentials and imitators can exhibit a dip or "chasm" between the early and later parts of the diffusion curve. (2) The proportion of adoptions stemming from influentials need not decrease monotonically, but may first decrease and then increase. (3) Erroneously specifying a mixed-influence model to a mixture process where influentials act independently from each other can generate systematic changes in the parameter values reported in earlier research. (4) Empirical analysis of 33 different data series indicates that the two-segment model fits better than the standard mixed-influence, the Gamma/Shifted Gompertz, and the Weibull-Gamma models, especially in cases where a two-segment structure is likely to exist. Also, the two-segment model fits about as well as the Karmeshu-Goswami mixed-influence model, in which the coefficients of innovation and imitation vary across potential adopters in a continuous fashion.

Keywords: asymmetric influence, diffusion of innovations, innovation, market segments, social contagion, social structure

Suggested Citation

Van den Bulte, Christophe and Joshi, Yogesh V., New Product Diffusion with Independents and Imitators (May 2007). Marketing Science, Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 400-421. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1402883

Christophe Van den Bulte (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department ( email )

700 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
3730 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6340
United States

Yogesh V. Joshi

University of Maryland - Department of Marketing ( email )

College Park, MD 20742
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
637
PlumX Metrics