Tapping into tech early adopters

More than 18m people in Britain claim to love buying new gadgets. So what do we know about these consumers?
27 January 2020
tech early adopters uk
James Powell

Senior Marketing Manager, Media Division, UK & Ireland

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January’s annual CES event in Las Vegas has long been the place to go to discover key new consumer electronics products and technologies, and for a significant proportion of British adults, having the latest consumer tech in the home is absolutely key.

These early adopters can prove absolutely key for advertisers and marketers in terms of ultimately determining the success or failure of new consumer electronics launches.

Latest findings from our TGI Consumer Data reveal that 37% of adults (aged 15+) in Britain (18.4 million people) claim to love to buy new gadgets and appliances.

Young and male bias

They are 21% more likely than the average adult to be male and also tend strongly towards the younger end of the age spectrum, being 55% more likely to be aged 15-24 and 43% less likely to be aged 65+.

Particularly likely to buy before their friends and purchase what they see advertised

Reinforcing their early adopter credentials, TGI Consumer Data reveals that those who love to buy new gadgets and appliances are 76% more likely to agree they are tempted to buy products they have seen advertised and twice as likely to say they buy new products before most of their friends. They are also twice as likely to agree that it is important their household is equipped with the latest technology.

Not only do they own the latest tech, they are prepared to spend big and often

The proof of this considerable electronic purchasing lies in the fact they are far more likely to claim to have a range of tech at home compared to the average adult. Both the range and level of spend makes this a group all the more compelling to marketers. They are 62% more likely to have a Nintendo Switch, 86% more likely to have bought a Hi-Fi system in the last 12 months, 32% more likely to have bought a DAB digital radio and 34% more likely to have bought cameras or camcorders.

But it is not just what they have, it’s also how much they spend and how often they buy. These gadget lovers are 69% more likely to spend £70 or more each month on their mobile phone and 50% more likely to make a purchase online more than once a week.

Gaming is an especially popular pastime for these consumers

The differentiating attitudes of these early adopters reveal a strong love of gaming – a hook that could be used be marketers to engage this target efficiently. They are over twice as likely as the average adult to agree they like to keep up with the latest news and developments in the video games industry/community. They are also 97% more likely to agree that video game characters/avatars are important to them and 96% more likely to claim that their favourite pastime is playing video games.

Standing out generally is very important

This is a group that likes to stand out – and not just through being the first to buy new products. They are 88% more likely to agree that their car should catch people’s attention, 74% more likely to say they like to go to trendy places to eat and drink and 72% more likely to agree that they like others to look at them. By tapping into this desire to be noticed, advertisers can better engage these early adopters.

Celebrity endorsement and a variety of promotional means can engage this audience

When it comes to reaching these early adopters in the most effective way, it is key to note that they are 96% more likely to agree that celebrities influence their purchase decisions and 76% more likely to say they enjoy watching ads featuring their favourite celebrities.

They are also 97% more likely to say they prefer to buy products from companies who sponsor TV programmes, 94% more likely to agree that out of home advertising changes their perception of a brand and 93% more likely to say they pay more attention to mail if it’s about something advertised on TV.

Internet – particularly mobile internet – and cinema especially consumed by this group vs the average adult

Revealing the most appropriate media mix to best reach and engage these early adopters, TGI Consumer data reveals they are 58% more likely to be amongst the heaviest fifth of users of mobile internet, 45% more likely to be amongst the heaviest fifth of consumers of cinema and 41% more likely to be amongst the heaviest fifth for internet.

When it comes to the specific activities that they get up to on their mobiles, they are 68% more likely than the average smartphone user to claim to download screensavers/logos, 54% more likely to participate in games, contests and votes and 39% more likely to watch videos.

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