“Early adopter” might seem like a buzzy marketing term, but it’s actually been around since the 1960s.
It was first coined in reference to rural farmers who used hybrid seeds. “Early adopter” quickly spread beyond its agricultural roots and now refers to just about anyone who is willing to try out a new product, test an emerging technology or even wear a new cutting-edge style.
“The first few people to see the next hot movie, the first few people to own a cellular phone, the first few people to wear the new pastels and brights.” That’s how Michael J. Wolf describes early adopters in his book The Entertainment Economy. In other words, they are alphas who lead the way in setting consumer trends. “Theirs is the key role of connecting with the concept behind a product, then adopting that product, and finally validating it for the rest of society,” Wolf writes.