How to Stop Creating Products No One Wants
Cristine Chen Saturday, January 19, 2019
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You spent nights creating the perfect landing page. You poured tons of money into Facebook Ads and Google Ads. You wrote content that you find relevant.
However, money is still not coming in.
Why is no one buying your product and service despite spending tons of money on advertising?
One of the most common reason is having the wrong assumption about what your target audience wants. Assumptions are not always accurate, and your assumptions about your customers may be costing you your business.
Take the fictional story of mobile app developer John.
John was tasked to create a product or service that could help people living below the poverty line learn about financial resources. He was excited and spent the next two months building a financial management mobile application for people living below the poverty line. The app has all the features that can potentially lift these communities up.
He launched the app with high hopes, but to his surprise, no one used the app. Then he realized his mistake- he created an iOS application without considering that none of these people from the community has an iPhone. He spent those two months building from the comforts of his school and desk without venturing out to listen to what his target customers want.
John's story may be exaggerated, but the lesson of putting your target audience' psychology and circumstances at the center remains. No amount of Marketing can save a product that customers do not need in the first place.
You can say that some products don't need to solve a need, they just need to create a compelling brand. However, building a brand also requires a deep understanding of your target audience and their psychology. What do they need? What are their problems? What are their desires?
One method to better understand your audience is to use the Design Thinking Process. The Design Thinking process was created by the Stanford D. School for teams to use a human-centered approach in solving complex problems. The method can help you figure out what your target audience needs and in having this knowledge, you get to create products that are relevant to your target audience and prevent product market fit disasters.
The Design Thinking process involves five steps- Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test. You start by empathizing with your customers. You can do that through activities like conducting on-site observations and doing interviews. You then define the problem, ideate potential solutions, prototype the chosen solution, and test the solution.
Businesses are ultimately about solving the needs of our target audience, whether they be companies or individuals. What we think is right may not be right for our audience. We can't make hasty assumptions especially when investments are at stake.
Get to the heart of your client, and they may finally give your product a chance.