What separates an early adopter and a ‘laggard’? Laggard is a weird word, I know.
“They’re [early adopters] innovators and early adopters; a.k.a. people willing to try new stuff, even if it’s buggy or feature-poor. They’re a different breed from everyone else; they buy things differently, they have different motivations, they have different budgets. These are the people who line up at the Apple store to try the new, latest thing even when they know the first generation will have a lot of problems. They don’t care. The early majority, on the other hand, is much more conservative. They want to see reviews, get on the phone with you, and wait until they see someone else using your product. When they make a purchase, teams of people are involved in the decision” 
I’m always thinking about how to reach the unengaged. The uninterested. The laggards, if you will. It’s in my DNA to ‘reach’ people, to get through, to break down walls, and really connect. So, I wonder, how can we incentivize the seemingly tough-to-adopt? Are there specific techniques we can use to “Cross the Chasm”, a concept that was discussed in class earlier this month. In doing some research, it looks like there are some simple methodologies to reach “a laggard”, but it all depends on the degree of ‘pain’ or ‘need’ they have for the product itself; so for this instance and the sake of discussion, let’s assume that it’s high.
If the need is high, but the adopter is a “laggard” (ugh, still do not like this word), we ought to consider the following:
- Make sure your messaging is easy clear and easy to understand (why: you’re going after a more conservative, attention-poor person)
- Make sure you feel like a safe option (why: they have reputations to uphold and people to report to)
- Compare and contrast your product to other options that they recognize (why: it helps buyers understand which budget dollars you’re going after; it’s likely they’ve never heard of you, so it’s good to be paired or teamed up with like-minded products) (for example, “Box did a great job of this by comparing and contrasting itself against Sharepoint (enterprise features) and Dropbox (B2C ease of use” )
It’s fascinating to think about what clarity, safety, and familiarity can do to help inform someone’s decision to buy (or perform an action). Can we do this with honesty and integrity? Do people need more? If so, of what?