Those who ride coattails are never at the forefront. (How could they be? It’s impossible.) They miss the joy of conception; i.e., making a dream into a reality. But, they do know how to enjoy the ride.
Early adopters are people who “get” the concept right away, and buy right in. They mostly say to themselves, “Why didn’t I think of that?”
Then, they become advocates and champion the cause… creating the ripple effect that moves outward like soft rings on a somewhat still pond. There still aren’t any substantive breezes, but the word is beginning to get out there.
Along come the late adopters. They’ve got to keep up with the Joneses, and now it’s their turn to weigh in… And they do so with more force, more verve, and are ready to tell their friends about it. They always seem to have more friends and they love to party.
It goes on and on… The coattail people catch up, but would never admit that there’s anything going on, except to a select few. Stealth marketing at its best.
Meanwhile the people who were the creators are more classified as guerrilla marketers, and change the world one idea at a time… All wearing coats for the coattail easy riders.