There are four questions that every product or service company needs to ask before it embarks on a new business or product line.
1. Do customers recognize they have a problem?
2. If there was a solution to their problem, would they buy it?
3. Would they buy it from us?
4. Can we build it?
When I owned an Invisible Fencing dealership, my customers were quick to identify the problem of containing their dog. However, the additional maintenance issues such as painting, repairs, and weed whacking caused by installing a traditional stockade or chain link fence were never considered.
While the buried wire used in an invisible fencing solution solved all these maintenance issues, the customer was not thinking beyond the initial problem and sales were initially very slow.
When you have a new product or service, customers often have a hard time recognizing the full extent of the problem which places a premium on customer education.
While our Invisible Fencing patent gave us exclusivity to the technology, it exacerbated the problem of “problem recognition” for our customers since Invisible Fencing dealers were the only ones getting the word out about our product.
Once we got a customer’s attention and showed them how it worked and they saw that it cost half the cost of the alternatives they were sold.
Do you ask the right questions about your market when planning for a new product or service?
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