Tom Moulson says innovative automotive styles go through four stages: shock, legitimization, maturity and decline. Market acceptance is varied initially; tastes tend to converge over time.
A. Shock: Innovative design fares poorly compared with targeted competitors in the total market. Shocked reactions of late adopters may cause the company to pull back to a more conservative compromise. Wide margin of preference by early adopters over late adopters ensures high post-launch acceptance. The style's potential is indicated by the margin of preference over targeted competitors among early adopters.
B. Legitimization: The car is launched, advertised, bought, publicized, reviewed and seen on the roads. Late adopters cease to exclude it from consideration. Total market acceptance increases.
C. Maturity: Now-familiar style enjoys high and stable appeal as a waning of enthusiasm among early adopters is offset by cresting acceptance among late adopters. Adoption spread eventually turns to negative.
D. Decline: Acceptance declines as early adopters turn to newer styles.