You have a product. The product is a great idea that fills a need for a particular consumer. You feel for those consumers, you know them, you might be them. But how exactly do you get consumers to actually want the product? Said another way, how do you create demand for your product?
I found an article. It’s an oldy, but a goody. Yes, it was written only a couple of years after the recession of 2008, but the key themes of product demand creation still resonate in 2019. The article is written for Fast Company by Adrian Slywotzky who literally wrote the book on creating product demand. This article is called The Six Secrets Of Demand Creation. Knowing that Slywotzky wrote an entire book on the subject, you can trust you are getting some great high-level cliff notes to further explore as you build demand for your product.
Here are the six (read the article or the book for more info):
- Make It Magnetic- emotional connection with customers
- Fix Our Hassles- study the needs of customers in multiple markets
- Build on the Backstory- what was the problem, and how can you take that concept further?
- Find the Trigger- what is the tipping point to get consumers off the fence? Study it; duplicate it.
- Build a Steep Trajectory of Improvement- launch day is just the first step, immediately try to get better.
- “De-Average” the Customer- one size does not fit all and different segments of your customer base may need slightly different problems solved or at least a different marketing narrative.
I will definitely be using some of these tips and insights as I write about my course work and help A.D. White continue to build demand for Asheville Hustle.
As an entrepreneur you try your best to find out what’s on your customer’s minds. You send them surveys and ask them for suggestions. You might even incentivize their spending through a loyalty program like a discount card or frequent shopper bonus. So, what would you do if someone told you that you could study their behavior by installing cameras in your shop displays?
In an article for The Atlantic, Sidney Fussell exposes how Walgreens has launched “smart coolers” in major cities across the United States. These refrigerated cases can scan your buying behavior as you look upon the selection in a drink case. The author describes this as “new tech that turns your purchases, your movements, even your gaze, into data”. The main purpose of these cases is to figure out if the way a drink company, for instance, markets or displays a product influences the demographics they are targeting.
Fussell goes on to explore the legal implications of using technology that requires facial recognition as it is outlawed in several states. He also points out that this type of “smart cooler” is only one of many emerging technologies that aim to study consumers in their native retail environments.
How long before creative entrepreneurs can afford to use such technology?
In the Four Steps to the Epiphany – Successful Strategies for Products that Win book by Steve Blank, he talks a lot about the customers. I fact, he probably writes the word customer more than the word product. He knows that without finding and marketing to appropriate customer groups, even the best products are destined to fail. Blank walks through several aspects of engaging customers to include:
- The customer discovery model
- And Creation
- Additionally, he includes a comprehensive customer development checklist
This book is a great reference and guide for any entrepreneur who is trying to launch a business or product. Companies are doomed to fail without finding their tribe of devoted customers. And once you have those customers, it’s important not to let the brand voice dominate the voice of your best brand advocates: your customers. To drive home this point, I recommend checking out Jason Maynard’s article for Entrepreneur Magazine called, When Your Customers Are Talking, Quiet Your Brand Voice and Listen.