Home > COM540 > Do you always buy the latest innovation?

Do you always buy the latest innovation?

Do you accept all the latest & greatest innovative technology? Do you pay the high prices for the latest phone? Do you really need the fastest laptop? If you do, you may be what is referred to as an ‘innovator’.

As we ‘live the future’ with our advanced technology toys and tools, we are constantly faced with deciding what our threshold is for adopting new innovation. Of course, the theory of adopting new technology is not new. In fact, in 1964, Everett M. Rogers, a sociologist and communications scholar, pioneered this field of study with his famous diffusion of innovations theory.

Rogers details a spectrum of adoption categories from laggards to late majority to early majority, early adopters and the most active of all the innovators. This theory of social tendencies still holds up quite nicely today even though the innovations of today are far more advanced than those available in the mid-sixties.

In addition, and more relevant to today’s lecture by Professor Janna Anderson, I was interested in another aspect of Rogers’ original theory. I refer here to the theme of thresholds of adoption, a topic covered in today’s lecture.

Rogers addresses the following values as to whether an innovation will be adopted or rejected:

  • The relative advantage – ie., how much improved over the previous generation?
  • Compatibility is the second characteristic, the level of compatibility that an innovation has to be assimilated into an individual’s life.
  • The Complexity of an innovation is a significant factor in whether it is adopted by an individual. If the innovation is too difficult to use an individual will not likely adopt it.
  • Trial-ability –determines how easily an innovation may be experimented with as it is being adopted. If a user has a hard time using and trying an innovation this individual will be less likely to adopt it.
  • Observability is the extent that an innovation is visible to others. An innovation that is more visible will drive communication among the individual’s peers and personal networks and will in turn create more positive or negative reactions.

These values still work today and are a good way to judge and predict the acceptance of innovations.

Can this ‘test’ also apply to innovative advertisements? What about innovative marketing campaigns?

I think so.

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