How Do ‘Leading-Edge’ Opinion Leaders Bridge the Innovation Gap? Advancing a New Adopter Category

Salah Hassan, George Washington University, USA
Philippe Duverger, Towson University, USA
Empowering users and/or involving them in the new product development (NPD) process defines the customer-centric organization. Recent research studies found that “lead-user innovations” help the firm minimize the risk associated with introducing new products to the market. This “customer-active” product development process offers greater advantages over the manufacturer-centric innovation development systems. This paper presents empirical research advancing “leading-edge opinion leaders” as a new adopter category. The purpose of this paper is threefold: (1) to evaluate the influence of leading-edge opinion leaders on accelerating the diffusion rate, (2) to measure their propensity to switch brands and pay a price premium, and (3) to offer insights on the characteristics of this proposed new adopter category that will provide directions for future research as well as immediate applications for management.
[ to cite ]:
Salah Hassan and Philippe Duverger (2010) ,"How Do ‘Leading-Edge’ Opinion Leaders Bridge the Innovation Gap? Advancing a New Adopter Category ", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 668-669 .