The world can be divided into various kinds of classes. Some can be on knowledge of savings, some can be the response to innovation, some can be on geographic placement etc… There is psychological classification like INTJ, ISTP, ESFJ etc.. too. The classification normally is done on the basis of some metric. This division helps in segregating like types to achieve some goals. If a study needs to be done on characteristics displayed by rational mastermind types of people, then that study should be exclusively conducted on the psychological type of INTJ.

For companies launching newly in an industry, the most common classification technique is based on the metric of response to innovation. The Aadhar project had to face significant headwinds because of not doing this type of classification. Besides Aadhar, The UPI too was susceptible to this kind of failure. Facebook was a small thing of interest when I joined. Later it became ubiquity because of targetting the users based on this principle. Most Importantly, The response to innovation is inclusive of the company too. Even more, the board of a company is classified with this metric too. Below are the 4 classes of response to innovation metric.

(See Also: Basics of Segmentation, Targetting and Positioning)

Classes of people

There are 4 categories of people under this classification scheme. Each category has its own characteristics. The marketing efforts in targetting correct group will aid immensely in sales. Hence it is important to understand the characteristics of each group. The 4 classes are listed below.

  1. Creators
  2. Early adopters
  3. Mainstream
  4. Laggards
Creators

The Creators see a problem and come up with a solution to that problem. The Skunkworks of Lockheed Martin was such a department. Neha Juneja of Greenway is another example of such class. The world better places to live is because of creators/innovators. But a product by innovator will not become a success immediately. For the product to become successful, the 2nd category plays a vital role.

Early Adopters

The early adopters like creators are well aware of the problems, but they don’t have the power to create solutions for that. Because of that, the early adopters would lap any solution that comes to their aid. I belong to this category.  Early adopters are always well aware of the problem. The early adopters lap up the solution, as soon as it comes out. They don’t wait for stabilization. The Aadhar faced headwinds because of not dealing with early adopters and improving the product. The early adopters will not hesitate to contact the company to tell what’s wrong in the product. The early adopters make it easy for mainstream guys to understand the solution in an easy way. 

Mainstream

The mainstream is the catch-all group for those who would not fall in any other classifications.  This group  will accept a technology after it has stabilised. This group accepts a standardised technology voluntarily and don’t need forcing. The mainstream guys and laggards differ on acceptance of the technology. In other words, mainstream guys accept change if its stable and good.

Laggards

The laggards are those who would oppose changes brought on by creators/innovators. Circumstances force this group to accept a technology. Legislative actions and alternative shutdown are some other ways to compel them. Laggards are harshest critics of any technology. Hence listening to them is useful. It’s important to understand, laggards are never satisfied.

The above 4 types are different classes of people. If you are an innovator its necessary to identify the correct segment to target. Hence classifying people in different subgroups becomes vital.