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Differences between early adopters of disruptive and sustaining innovations

Ronny Reinhardt and Sebastian Gurtner

Journal of Business Research, 2015, vol. 68, issue 1, 137-145

Abstract: The success of innovations strongly depends on knowledge about early adopters. Prior research helps to describe the characteristics of this important customer type. However, not distinguishing between different types of innovation and different types of early adopters bears substantial risk. This study investigates systematic differences and similarities between early adopters of disruptive innovations and early adopters of sustaining innovations. The results from a heterogeneous sample of consumers (n=849) suggest that significant differences between these groups exist. Early adopters of disruptive innovations are more knowledgeable of the product domain. In contrast, consumers who purchase sustaining innovations relatively early are more involved in the product domain. Therefore, managers must address early adopters differently and differentiate their product development and marketing strategy in accordance with the type of innovation.

Keywords: New product adoption; Consumer innovativeness; Disruptive innovation; Sustaining innovation; Structural equation modeling (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2014.04.007

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