On Management

‘Sneezers’ and ‘Influencers’


Both ‘Sneezers’ and ‘Influencers’ are essential to small and huge businesses alike. Although they play a more crucial role in the growth stage of startups. Both terms are meant for a specific category of the population that can be targeted to reap benefits.


I learnt this term thanks to Seth Godin. These are an enthusiastic bunch of people who try out new things (early adopters) and talk to people around them, about the same. If they like it, they ‘sneeze’ out to their immediate circles about the product. If they dislike it, they ‘sneeze’ about the problem. It is a double edged sword alright but a useful one for sensible heads. Since these folks are often ahead of the trend, the population prefers reviews from ‘Sneezers’ and if you have this category happy, be sure to have a good bunch of business ahead. Prepare for the opposite in case you have a screwed up product.


The Innovation Cycle


This is how it works. Innovators innovate and spread the early world. Early Adopters listen, catch up, adopt and sneeze. And then the boom. Understand that most of the Early Adopters have a loyal following of the Early Majority because they are seen as the ‘trend-setters’, the ‘people who know what the first turn around the curve feels like’, ‘people with guts/balls’. Neat.

Targeting the Sneezing & Influential breed of Early Adopters helps you focus your energies in a small population with specific tastes. It eases costs and is supposed to fire up your creative juices. Convincing the early adopters is fun. Period.


These are the people who have a following alright. The term is specifically used for social media, unlike the case of ‘Sneezers’. Influencers have steady conversations flowing on Facebook/Twitter/G+, have opinions about many things in the world and are buzzing with random feeds from the many sites and blogs they follow.

When they say something about anything, the many ears of their followers listen and type in an instant reply. Retweets happen and the word spreads. People who agree hit the ‘like’ button, people who disagree tweet back their furious replies. If you pass on a word to an Influencer, it reaches half the crowd around him within hours.

While Sneezers help you spread the word about the latest innovation and aids in acceptance from the larger crowd, Influencers help more when it comes to spreading the word about the awesomeness of your brand and the USP. Your services, once accepted by the Sneezers, can be promoted with the help of Influencers.

It is of vital importance for small businesses to identify their set of early adopters. And to understand the mindset of influencers, in order to please them. Say hallo to booming business.



  • rohan singh

    I am amazed at Godin’s capacity to to come up with short new ideas so regularly.

    If you have a few hours to spend at Crossword, I highly recommend reading the SECOND chapter of The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. He explains in great detail and with awesome storytelling about Influencers, Connectors and Data Warehouses.
    Although, there’s a high probability you’ve already read it :)

    PS: Love the minimalistic clean look. The site’s a pleasure to skim through.

    • Sushrut Munje

      Thanks a lot matey. And will check out the book. It has been a long time since I’ve been to Crossword. (I was going to say ‘Hogwarts’. Weird.)

      I believe that Godin makes an effort to jot down his thoughts. His short blogs are about the things that cross our mind but we do not dwell upon them. He does and adds a perspective to it. So rather than ideas, they are intelligent observations. I love that man. I believe so do you. :)

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