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Alpha consumer

noun; compounding
one who starts a trend or picks it up very early, often long before the rest of the population, usu. used as a predictor of economic trends The author was describing companies that profit by predicting trends in consumer goods. One way that they did this was by watching the habits of certain groups of people who tended to be the first to pick up on or even start the trend. These consumers, since they were the 'first,' were given the designation 'alpha.'
 
Watch the cool kids, the alpha consumers, today, and you can see what everybody else will be doing a year from now.
Etymology : compound of 'alpha' + 'consumer'
Source : Time
Last modified: 10 June 2008