Diffusion is the process of spreading an innovation in a society. Generally, the word ADOPTION is used by some to denote the diffusion. The word ADOPTION means a kind of acceptance; but adoption is used to denote the acceptance of a new idea or situation by an individual. When each and every individual accepts and uses the innovation, it is called adoption. Here the person is called adopter. Don’t get confused with the two words - Diffusion and Adoption.

Adoption is an individual process of accepting an innovation. But diffusion is a social phenomenon. Diffusion signifies a group of people or society and suggests how an innovation spreads in society. When all or more individuals in a society adopts an innovation, it is called diffusion.

People are different in behaviour and all cannot adopt the innovations in the same way. Some persons are ready to accept the innovation very quickly, but some others hesitate to go for a new idea or product.


Types of Innovation Adopters

Based on the degree to which an individual adopts the innovation, the adopters have been categorised into five different types. They are innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards.

No.   of People

Passage of Time


This is the innovation adoption curve. The X axis denotes time and Y axis denotes number of people adopts the innovation.


Innovators: Innovators are venturesome people –They are willing to take risks, have financial liquidity and interaction with other innovators. Such people come forward to use the new idea as a challenge. You might have seen people who wants to see the fils in the releasing day itself. Or there are some people who purchases the brand new smart phones in the launching day itself. As per studies, such innovators belong to 2.5% of the customers.

Early Adopters: An early adopter is a person who embraces new technology before most other people do. The term early adopter refers to an individual or business who uses a new product, innovation, or technology before it becomes widely known or used.  These people are also interested in buying the new products without delay. They make up roughly 14 percent of the population.

Early Majority: early majority comes after innovators and early adopters. Such persons are ready to make use of new technology after observing its nature and functions. This group consists of 34% of population.

Late Majority: They adopt an innovation only after a majority of people have tried it. They may have below average social status and little financial liquidity compared to early majority people. This group consists of 34% of population.

Laggards: They are the last to adopt an innovation. These individuals typically have an aversion to changes. Laggards typically rely on "traditions", and usually in contact with only family and close friends. 16% of population is consisted of laggards.


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