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TMC Vocabulary


Compiled by Chris Halliwell, TMC Director


Differentiation refers to customer's perception that a solution does not have a perfect competitive substitute. Therefore Differentiation suggests some dimension of unique capability; that the solution is better for certain uses or in certain circumstances than competitive alternatives. The purpose of Differentiation is to justify a price premium versus alternative solutions. Successful Differentiation is based on Market Segmentation, and is achieved only when customers actually perceive a difference based on technology, support, distribution, or other solution attributes (see Positioning).

Early Adopters

Early Adopters, representing 10-13% of Community membership, are integrated into the social system of the market. Early Adopters tend to be influential because they are first to fully deploy new technology in an effort to get a jump on the competition. Early Adopters are capable of first deployment because they are big enough to have access to technology evaluation and integration resources. However visionary, Early Adopters are not always Opinion Leaders - Early Adopters exert the most influence when all the members of the Community or segment tend toward early adoption.

Early Majority

The Early Majority of adopters, about 30% of a market, are the pragmatist individuals or organizations that will not disrupt productive operations to adopt new technology. They adopt just as the innovation is fully standardized and a readily accessible trained skill pool is available to support technology integration and use. Although Early Majority adopters are not Opinion Leaders, they do interact frequently with other adopter groups providing a crucial link between visionaries and the more conservative members of the Community.