Thursday, May 19, 2016

Product ideas: 6 steps to getting the customer's pulse

By Virginia  Mburu

The truth and nothing but the truth .....

Which product/service do you have in the pipeline?

How did the idea come about?

If you are like some of us, you could have been in the shower one of those bright sunny mornings and pap! Lovely idea, beautiful execution, hungry customers and a huge bank account all within the 10 minute wonder shower……..


non existent market

But wait a minute.......

Who else is into you lovely idea? You could be making a mistake many entrepreneurs make…

Manufacturing solutions to problems that don’t exist in your target market (better nail the  real problem)

If they have nailed the problem, they are  not aligning the solution to the problem

If they problem/ solution is aligned, they are not properly positioning   the solution

Or the market is not big enough to profitably support “your baby”

Different market

I have been there, done that.........

One bright sunny morning I started dreaming of starting a blog where I could share my tips and insights. Good Idea! I figured that soon I will be making money from the many adverts on that blog. I did some articles and posted them on the blog.

Long story short…The last time I checked, there was not one single comment. Reason-it was my idea… My baby … Not the solution the target market was interested in. And my dream of making money from the blog remains that..a dream!

With the lesson learned, I targeted a different market, took the same articles and distributed them there. Result......perfectly happy customers who not only enjoy tips but they also buy other  products!

6 steps to saving yourself the drama
  1. Make sure you have a crystal clear video of the market your next product or service will serve.
  2. Make sure there is a mountain size market gap (Mt. Everest is best but Mt Kenya would also do) that needs to be filled.
  3. ASK ASK ASK…Survey your customer/market to determine the existence of a gap and the size. (A tip here.. take more interest in how they vote  with their pockets Vis-a-vis what they say). Decide which information is relevant to get to understand the solution your customer wants. What would  attract them to buying that solution?
  4. Make every customer contact an opportunity collect as much information as you can without being too personal. While at it, some of us think it is only the Research Personnel, Sales Representatives or Front Office staff who should collect this data. Rope in the person who collects payments, offers after sales service, answers the call e.t.c.
  5. Set a system that collects and collates this information for analysis and decision making.
  6. Practice being an AKO (Acute Keen Observer). Observe and analyse often unstated needs and trends. Factor these  trends and needs into the solution and  WOW the customers who will reward you with profitable sales.

Remember the shower gap  only fits one customer - possibly two in truly  special circumstances- numbers which certainly will not send you smiling to the bank…………

Let's share
Please  leave your comment below and  share with the Passionate Entrepreneurs Family;

  • how you how you  generated your last product / service idea and the results......
  • What you could have done  better.......


Whatever you do, make sure it results in less work, more money and positive impact.

Update


Virginia Mburu
Passionate Entrepreneurs Coach


Virginia empowers and motivates Passionate Entrepreneurs to realize their purpose and pursue it. She then assists the entrepreneurs to clarify, prioritise and focus on management and marketing strategies and action plans that will get them to work less, make more money and positively impact within one year.  Download some of her gifts- absolutely free lessons on www.biasharacoach.blogspot.co.ke