The process of acceptance of new products on the market is steady and cyclic. In accordance with the dynamics of the market and civilized innovative precedents in the lives of consumers, every little a new product or service moves in. Certain products fit in immediately in the market process – what happens is ,, so-called product-market fit. ” For other products it takes time, adapting to market changes and the initial product concept. Third ones never awaken the interest and needs of customers – and so they fail.
Whatever the scenario, there is a trodden, although dynamic, path that every new product or service moves by. Marketing tools are changing, the way consumers discover new products change, consumer behavior is changing. However, the structure of the process of acceptance of new products remains more or less unchanged. In marketing and sales theory, a view is adopted which states that this process consists of 5 stages: awareness of the product, interest in the product, product consideration, buying and acceptance of the product (loyalty). The companies that are innovative in design and creation of new products, in order to survive in the market, must also be innovative in the design process that will naturally lead their customers from the first to the last stage of the adoption of the product.
In creating the strategy of adopting new products, great attention must be paid to single consumers. Different people in accordance with their individuality are more or less inclined to accept new things, whether it is a product, idea, habit, behavior or something else. As our old proverb says – ,, Hundred people, hundred thoughts ”. Fortunately, research shows that certain laws can still be seen. Accepted point of view is that, when it comes to the adoption of new products, the majority of consumers can be divided into the following 5 groups: innovators (2.5%), early adopters (13.5%), early majority (34%), late majority (34%) and ” laggards ” (16%).
Innovators are individuals and groups of people who find or create the ” holes ” in the market and fill them by creating disruptive technologies, products or services. Early adopters are second rate that accept the new things. Mostly it comes to millennials and other individuals with a liberal view of the world that are aware of the development of new products and tend to try any novelty in the market. Early majority represent people who accept innovations a little slower, they’re a little older and more conservative, but under the influence of early adopters at some point decide to try the new product. Late majority are people that new products and services accept only when they become widely accepted or necessary. These are the people who, under the influence of society are beginning to use new products. Finally, the laggards are people who rarely or never accept trends. They are mostly traditional, conservative and do not like changes.
In various communities ratio of these groups of consumers is different. On the one hand, there are communities that are more innovative and faster accept and adapt to changes, and on the other hand, communities that accept new and different trends slower. The stereotypical division is that Western countries are innovative, and Eastern countries accept new things slower. Certainly its the terms of excessive generalization, but this is already going down in some different, sociological, economic and philosophical themes.
When it comes to Serbia and the region, the tendency of acceptance of new products increases every year. Research conducted by Nielsen shows that the percentage of early adopters in Serbia grew to 18% (vs. 13% in 2016). However, the majority of customers (54%) is mostly loyal to favorite products and sometimes buys new products and brands. Late adoptees make 28% of the respondents, who rarely buy new things because they do not want to run the risk.
Of all the countries in the region, it is interesing that only Slovenia has the highest percentage of early adopters (22%), while Croatia (13%) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (15%) have lower percentage of early adopters compared to Serbia.
When it comes to Europe, Italy is the first, followed by Spain, UK and Ireland. Countries with the lowest percentage of early adopters are Czech Republic, Slovakia and Portugal.
What can be concluded is that Serbia is better and better enviorement for launching new products. Compared to year 2016, there is significantly bigger percentage of those who loves new products with slightly decreasment of those who rarely try new products and are more sticked to their favourite products. It is interesting that the number of those who rarely buy new products is stable from year to year. Also, Serbia is very well ranked compared to the region, which means that market potential is above the average, with tendency of reaching trends of developed European countries.