Some weeks ago, a friend and I were having a discussion about how trends work their way into mass culture. She had been considering me at the front of the movement, but used the term “early adopter”, which is a popular buzzword these days. I never thought of myself as an early adopter, since to me, instead of being on the front, that seemed to me to be further back in line. In front, seemed to be those people who were out there CREATING (naturally, that’s what I believe MYSELF to be – LOL). People who were just listening to their inner creative voice and giving it expression, without much positive support or feedback from society at large. THEN came the people that adopted the new ideas or technologies (that have been created) early. It all has to come from SOMEWHERE – heh heh.
Well, recently I ran across this article about marketing and teens and trends. The article itself was pretty basic, but had one especially terrific paragraph which mirrored by friend’s and my conversation:
“…Actually it’s a triangle. At the top of the triangle there’s the innovator, which is like two to three percent of the population. Underneath them is the trend-setter, which we would say is about 17 percent. And what they do is they pick up on ideas that the innovators are doing and they kind of claim them as their own. Underneath them is an early adopter, which is questionable exactly what their percentage is, but they kind of are the layer above mainstream, which is about 80 percent. And what they do is they take what the trend-setter is doing and they make it palatable for mass consumption. They take it, they tweak it, they make it more acceptable, and that’s when the mass consumer picks up on it and runs with it and then it actually kills it.”