In the tech industry, we often think of early adopters as nerds—gadget geeks who spend all night in front of the Apple Store®, waiting in line to buy the latest Vision Pro™ headset or Apple Watch® Series 9. In reality, most early adopters are normies, ordinary parents who buy the latest, cool tech because of their kids—and they’re far from the most tech-savvy people.
That’s a key takeaway from Asurion’s 2024 Tech Lifestyle Report, an annual study about how people use technology. It’s also an insight that offers a major opportunity for companies willing to invest in tech help that solves people’s everyday problems.
The new tech trendsetters
As we wrote in our report, households with kids own—and use—far more tech than those without children. These parents own a diverse array of products, including tablets, smart watches, smart TVs, streaming devices, home audio equipment, gaming PCs, smart home devices, and home security systems.
Parents are also more likely to buy and replace their tech. And they’re far less likely to wait until a new device is popular before buying something new; they’re among the first to try the latest tech.
Many of these parents are looking for new ways to help them manage their lives—from keeping their families safe and running their households to improving their mental health and tracking their finances—especially compared to their counterparts without kids.
Tech mishaps and missed opportunities
Despite being more likely to buy new technology, less than half of these parents—only 40%—say they’re “comfortable” with tech. That means 60% of parents feel uncomfortable with technology, and households with children are three times more likely to deal with tech mishaps than those without kids, according to a 2022 Asurion-sponsored survey by Dynata®, a market research firm.
Frustrating, right? For those parents and their kids, absolutely. But it’s also an opportunity for companies that take tech help seriously.
Human, dependable, and accessible
Far from being geeky experts, the true early adopters of tech often need help. And as we found in our report, they often don’t know where to turn for simple questions, including:
• What should I do if something goes wrong?
• What’s the best way to integrate smart home devices?
• How do I connect these devices?
• Is it worth buying individual protection plans for all these different products?
• What tech do I need for my kids?
• Is this likely to be outdated in 12 months?
These questions underscore the need for human, dependable, and accessible support—not only for people setting up their tech but for those having issues years after buying and setting up their devices.
It’s also an untapped opportunity for businesses to make a difference in the lives of their customers. For far too long, tech companies have seen support as a necessary burden. That’s changing.
By partnering with companies that specialize in product protection and customer support, tech manufacturers can turn every interaction they have with someone into a chance to build loyalty and show how helpful they can be. That’s exactly what parents—who are among tech’s true early adopters—are looking for as they go about their busy lives.
Want more insights about how people really interact with technology? Check out Asurion's 2024 Tech Lifestyle Report.