Our peers often greatly affect what we buy. Typically we want to fit in our group and we avert buying anything that conflicts too much with the norms of our group. However, that’s not the only way the group influence can affect consumer behaviour. Some individuals prefer to stand out from the crowd and avoid buying anything that’s widely used. They consider it to be uncool to wear the same clothes or use the same technology as someone else. They aim to spend their money on something that’s as new and fresh as possible because they want to appear new and fresh themselves. They want to be ahead of everyone else and adopt something before it becomes cool among mainstream. They are called hipsters, a word that has garnered some pejorative recognition lately, begetting numerous jokes and parodies about them such as:
“Why did a hipster burn his tongue?”
Answer: Because he drank his coffee before it was cool.
But not all early adopters of a certain product are called hipsters. There are also people called opinion leaders via whom new products find their way to the mass audience. The difference between hipsters and opinion leaders is that opinion leaders are often heeded and their expertise is usually valued while hipsters are usually viewed living in their own world. I think that most hipsters would like to be opinion leaders but have failed to attain popularity for some reason and since it’s common to human nature to make fun of failures people have started to make fun of hipsters.