Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Is your product or service a 'must have'?


Is your product or service one that is a ‘must have’: something your customers won’t give up – even in this difficult economic crisis?

If it is not - what can you do to make it more important? And how quickly can your product ingratiate itself into people's lives?

I remember distinctly when all the youth in our church youth group started showing up with Ipods. One Sunday, none of them had one; it seemed the next Sunday, they all had one. Of course, it did not happen that quickly - but it sure seemed like it.

I had a prospective client come by who wanted to open a business here in Stillwater. Within an hour of this business were at least three others performing the same service, and another 5-10 with overlapping services. Guess how many of those competitor's she had visited, used, or otherwise investigated?

If you don't know what the market is like - how are you going to make your product a must have for the possible customers? To refer back to my post on Jason Fried's comments from the business of software conference, Jason said "Target non-consumption – people who want to buy a solution to a problem, but don’t because of cost or usefulness". Well - how are you going to target them if you don't know why they won't use existing solutions?

If you cannot give a good reason why your product is a 'must have' then you are leaving value out in the ether - value that someone else will take advantage of.

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