The shape of the standard product life-cycle implies that purchasers for a new class of product become customers at different times, and at different rates, following its introduction. This has been described as the diffusion of innovation or the adoption process. Adoption is concerned with the way that a consumer becomes a regular customer for a new product concept. Diffusion refers to the way in which the product penetrates its potential market, which, in turn, suggests that there will be different stages of adoption. Variations between the shapes of product life-cycles for different products indicate that the rate of diffusion may also vary from one product to another. Effective marketing requires a good understanding of these processes and the causes of any variations.
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