An opinion leader is a person who, because of their knowledge, experience, features of personality, as well as held positions or prestige, sets an example for others to follow and whose advice, opinions or exceptions are considered to be important information which shapes attitudes and influences conduct on the market.
The function of an opinion leader can be fulfilled by public or private persons appearing in several different roles: a “general” authority, authority in a particular field, personal adviser and institutional adviser. Their tasks plays an important role in the flow of information about new and innovative products. Leaders are the first who, meeting their own needs, reach for novelties and want to broaden their knowledge about them.
According to the research by Millward Brown Company, opinion leaders are most often people living in cities of more than 100,000 inhabitants, mostly male at the age of 25-35, with at least secondary education, with a permanent job, having no children, in good economic condition. General opinion leaders have a more active way of life and a greater involvement in what they are doing. Their interests and the way of spending time seem to be less common, and even more snobbish. They show much greater willingness to obtain interesting information than other people.