Consumer Innovativeness and GLB: A comparative study
Many companies survive because of the development and the introduction of successful new products3. According to Hultink and Schoormans (2004), 40 to 50 percent of the return and the profit of US and UK companies comes from products introduced on the market less than five years ago. However, new products often do not find their way to buyers: Hultink and Schoormans (2004) state that 30 to 50% of new products fail. The diffusion literature (e.g. Rogers, 2003) counts on innovative people to make a new product successful. When these innovative persons are known, a deliberate and efficient communication campaign can be developed and innovators can be targeted (Fell et al. 2003). But, who are innovative persons and how can they be effectively targeted? Marketers often try to reach and attract them via mass media communication and mass sampling, without much success though. Therefore, it would be interesting to find a subgroup within the society that is significantly more innovative than others. In this respect, several non-academic articles refer to the assumed innovativeness of gays, lesbians and bisexuals (GLB) (Kolko et al. 2003, Wilke 2000, Marketresearch.com 2000). GLB are supposed to be trendsetters and are called “the avant-garde of consumers” (Bilsen et al., 2000, p. 242). Kolko et al. (2003) state that “gays lead in the adoption of a whole host of emerging technologies and almost every online activity […]” (p.2). Nevertheless, to our knowledge, no academic research has been carried out measuring the innovativeness of GLB. Therefore, the purpose of this article was to investigate the innovativeness of both GLB and heterosexuals and to see whether empirical evidence can be found for the myth that GLB are more innovative and trendsetting than heterosexuals. Moreover, also the extent to which this innovativeness translates in new product trial was studied.
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