How to know if you are an early adopter.

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Early adopters, whose enthusiasm is essential to any company hoping to make a lasting imprint on the market, inevitably accompany the launch of new technology. Tech marketers go to great lengths to target them, but what characterizes and drives these pioneers?

They are typically risk-takers who are willing to spend extra money and take a few chances so that they can walk on the cutting edge of something new and innovative.

According to 2009 research by Forrester called “The Psychology of Early Adopters,” EAs are not characterized by impulsiveness. Instead, they tend to be meticulous researchers who are well-informed and thoughtful about their purchases.

As they forge trails – collecting both early adoption successes and failures – there are a few benefits that add value for every early adopter:

* The thrill of adventure: A 2016 Pew Research study developed an “early adopter index” designed to target the types of people who buy products ahead of their neighbors. One measure found that individuals with a higher “openness to experience” were more likely to become early adopters than those who prefer routine. By being the first on the block to try out a new gadget or device, early adopters get the chance to be on the cutting edge and have experiences ahead of their friends.

* The perks of being an early reviewer: As they seek to be well-informed tech consumers, early adopters are often eager readers and contributors to technology websites and message boards. As the leading voice on a product, they can develop a stronger and more credible online presence by publishing early reviews, articles and guides. Publishing ahead of the curve, according to tech blogger jimmyselix, can boost an early adopter’s Google analytics and keep his or her articles at the top of search engine results.

* Influence on innovators: It’s fun to turn heads as the first one with a hot new gadget or to attract readers with online content, but the most significant benefit of early adoption is the chance to help make a product better. Savvy tech shoppers, especially those chosen to beta test a new product, often have the ear of designers, and their feedback in those early months can fuel significant change in a product. The only problem for early adopters? They will also want to be among the first to buy the new, improved version.

Do you have an early adopter mindset? For more on Pew Research’s “early adopter index” read a summary of their study.

And if you consider yourself an early adopter, what pieces of technology are you currently trying out and what has been your gauge on them so far? Share with the community! We really want to know!

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