How lead users / opinion leaders promote new product diffusion
In social networks or, more specifically, online communities on tech-products, opinion leaders are important sources of advice for other consumers in the adoption and diffusion of new products. However, possibilities for potential users to exert their influence on opinion leadership are ignored. This study determines whether and how lead users may serve as opinion leaders in social networks and advise other consumers in the adoption and diffusion of new products. Our survey with 308 users in the Xiaomi and Huawei communities suggests that higher lead userness is positively and significantly associated with the likelihood of opinion giving and passing. Product-possessing innovativeness has a higher impact compared with information-possessing innovativeness. Product involvement does not enhance the effect of information-possessing innovativeness. The findings provide a better understanding of the formation of opinion leadership in social networks for an accelerated diffusion of new products.
Wang, N., Xie, W., & Tiberius, V. (2023). Accelerating new product diffusion: how lead users serve as opinion leaders in social networks. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 72, 103297, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jretconser.2023.103297.