Law of Diffusion of Innovation

“Do you want to be an innovator or a laggard? You better decide because your future depends on it,” says Patrick McIvor, Artistic & TechniCulture Director for Goldwell and KMS California. As a social media guru, McIvor guides salon professionals through the digital world - those that adopt social media early benefit more than those that lag behind.

McIvor refers to the Diffusion of Innovations theory that seeks to explain how, why, and at what rate new ideas and technology spread through cultures. Everett Rogers, a professor of communication studies, popularized the theory in his book Diffusion of Innovations. The book is based on the theory that there are four main elements that influence the spread of a new idea: the innovation, communication channels, time, and a social system.

“In our industry, the magic number is 16%, you have to have over 16% new business for people to be talking about you enough to be considered successful, innovative and hot. If not enough people are talking about you, you will not make it, 16% is the tipping point,” says McIvor. “Salons are full of ideas, they need to communicate these innovative ideas in a timely manner to their social networks to breed the success of the Early Majority (see above).”

McIvor suggests being an innovator by appointing a digital director to the salon that will man the social media outlets to communicate innovative ideas in a timely manner to a social network. “Salons today have color directors, creative directors, style directors, now we need digital directors, this is what will excite existing guests and attract new customers. You have to be proactive and share your ideas and accomplishments in the Early Majority to attract the guests you want. If you don’t, you will be a Laggard – there will always be the 16% (see above) that lags before joining innovation, but sooner or later they will have to conform because they are forced to. Think rotary phones, analog television broadcasting and VHS tapes, there would still be people using these if they had the choice, but that does not make them good choices,” explains McIvor. -Patrick McIvor, Artistic & TechniCulture Director for Goldwell/KMS California

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