Technology is changing the way we do things and in the dairy industry to be precise the benefits are far reaching: improved profitability, milk quality, streamlined operations, improved lifestyle and animal welfare. Technology also provides the different stakeholders with information that they have not had before, to support better decision making.

When creating technology for the dairy industry or any other field for that matter, it is important for innovators to understand the 5 stages of technology adoption in order to successfully introduce innovative products to the marketplace.

There are five different types of consumers and they will all react differently to technology. Each consumer group will adopt any given technology at different times and for different reasons. The five types of consumers are:

  1. Innovatorsare those who have to have the latest and greatest technologies. Innovators have the benefit of experiencing new technologies on their operations first and are often more risk oriented.
  2. Early Adopters: early adopters are opinion leaders. They pay attention to what the innovators have discovered and find a practical use for the innovation. They then communicate to their followers the usefulness of the new product. They play a very important role by influencing the attitude and changing the behavior of the later adopters.
  3. The early majority carefully observes the early adopters, but wait to adopt innovative products until they are sure they will get value from them. The early majority will only adopt a new product if they are sure the new product will provide usefulness to their lives – and not be a waste of their time and money.
  4. Late majority:This group is fairly conservative, yet still partakes in the advantages that new technologies have to offer. However, they are late enough in the game that they don’t obtain the full competitive advantage that new technologies can create in the industry.
  5. Dawdlers/Laggards:They only adopt new technologies after a long period of proven performance.  At this point they are no longer “new” technologies. Often times they are forced to adapt to a different technology because what they currently have, has become obsolete.

By understanding these five types of consumers, it allows the innovators to reap the benefits that these technologies are developed to provide without the experience of unnecessary costs or poor performance.