What is a Laggard in Marketing?

A laggard in marketing comprises a group of consumers who avoid change and may not be willing to adopt a new product until all traditional alternatives are no longer available.

The group is mainly concerned with reliability and low cost and represents about 16% of the consumer population.

A typical business trend within innovative companies is the continuous development of new products or updates for those already in the market. Customers respond differently, relying on a set of predispositions, criteria, personal background, age, gender, behaviors, profession, and other demographic factors that have shaped their views about new things. From a marketing and consumer behavior standpoint, a laggard is a person who adopts these newly developed elements later than the rest of the population.

Even people naturally receptive to new products are not always among the early adopters. Instead, people disagree significantly with their readiness to try new products. 

Laggard in Marketing

The behavior of laggards in marketing is often affected by a reluctance to change old habits, and it is a typical pattern seen in senior individuals. Companies have multiple strategies to push this segment towards a transformation by reducing the benefits of older arrangements, limiting their ability to fit newly functional requirements, and creating an environment of constant exposure to the positive attributes of the newer versions. Other strategies like spare parts’ supply shrinkage and biased technical support are strong incentives to help laggards move forward.

All individuals do not adopt innovations in a social system simultaneously. Instead, they tend to embrace in a time sequence and can be categorized into adopter categories based upon how long it takes them to begin using the new idea. Practically speaking, it’s beneficial for a change agent to identify which type of specific individuals belong to since the short-term goal of most change agents is to facilitate the adoption of an innovation. Adopting a new idea is caused by human interaction through interpersonal networks. It would help if you remembered that classifications of adopters differ from product to product. The innovator who hurried to buy a particular product might have little interest in another new development type. Relying on their attitude, faith, income, and lifestyle, they might fall into innovators, early adopters, late majority, and laggards.

Laggard in Marketing

Classifications of Adopters

Innovators: They are willing to try new products at some risk. Innovators are venturesome – The first users of the new creation are called innovators. They manage to be younger people with reasonably high incomes, willing to spend more than regular sums of funds for the product and take dignity in being the foremost among their peers to hold a particular new product. Consequently, they are the thought leaders within their concern group. They emanate much of their social status and happiness from the innovator role. Therefore, they vigorously seek out new products to support them in that pursuit.

Early Adopters: Early adopters are navigated by respect. They are thought leaders in their communities and adopt new products early but carefully. Early adopters earn up 13.5% of the total purchasers. Although they do not progress as quickly as innovators, they attempt a new product early in its life cycle without delaying many people’s acceptance. As innovators, they are reasonably wealthy and enjoy being among the first to purchase a new product.

The innovators are opinion leaders for friends and colleagues to buy and use the product class. One of the essential distinctions between innovators and early adopters is that they are not as nervous about being the first purchaser. Instead, they are relatively content to be second and do not actively seek new products to the extent innovators do.

Early Majority: The early majority are contemplated. Although they are seldom leaders, they adopt a new product before the moderate person. They account for the subsequent 34% to enter the market. They are distinctly dissimilar from the last two buyers – innovators and early adopters. This group is more intentional in buying decisions, looking to the innovators and early adopters for buying cues, and is more cost-sensitive. The early majority embrace the product only after it has been widely taken. These consumers perceive more hazards in new products than innovators and early adopters. Because this group is so extensive that it decides whether the product will generally thrive or serve a narrow market niche, the product will probably not achieve sufficient sales volume to be incredibly profitable without at least part of this early majority.

Late Majority: Late majority are skeptical. They embrace an innovation only after a plurality of people have tried it. This group comprises another 34% of the entire market. This group sees even more trouble in new outcomes than in the early majority. Customers in this class tend to be quite conservative and skeptical of new creations, although the effect can hardly be considered unique by this time in the life cycle.

Moreover, they manage to be very price-sensitive and are generally reluctant to buy until they are convinced that the cost is at its lowest point. Components of the late majority do not consider the product in its life cycle, of course. Still, they become comfortable adopting it only after the innovation is widely accepted.

Laggards: Laggards are tradition-bound. They are questionable only when it has become something of a tradition itself. The last group of buyers creates up the previous 16% to make their purchases. They are the people, households, or organizations that fight or never embrace the new product. The most distinctive feature of this group is their highly traditional buying patterns. They are likely to stay until a specific product has become accepted. This group consists of more senior people with lower incomes, yet purchasing power is not the main reason why laggards are so attentive – they are tied to the past. Although laggards may be reserved by nature, that is not necessarily the reason they reject an innovation. Some products are of little interest to specific customers, are not needed, or are too expensive.

Final Words

A laggard in marketing is considered the last segment to adopt new technology, product, service, or particular innovation. It has been recognized as a small group of people that are reluctant to change and don’t accept the adoption of new developments easily.