Getting consumers to buy a product requires a keen understanding of the who, what, when, where, and why of innovation. New products take off when the right product is in the right place for the right consumer.

Market research company IRI segmented consumers into six groups: downtrodden, cautious and worried, start-ups, optimistic, savvy shoppers, and carefree. The six groups provide a closer look at the rational behind consumers making purchasing decisions and points directly to how their economic outlook will impact their attitudes towards new products.

For example, since downtrodden customers are struggling with their financial situations, their go-to response is to try and cut back on everything. Their purchases are highly influenced by price, brand, and/or prior experience/trust. On the opposite end, carefree customers' financial situations are in a stable place. They're willing to splurge on premium products and brand preference is a greater driver than price for their buying decisions.

Understanding the different economic mindsets of a targeted consumer group, as well as financial conditions that drive shopping behavior, is important for product innovation decision-making.

It is also key to understand early adopters and late adopters. A powerful consumer group is the "avid early adopters," who have a high propensity to buy new products. Avid early adopters are mostly in their mid-40s, have kids at home, and have moderate income levels.