Product Validation Week 2

Know Thy Customer

Beyond9to5 - by LoopGenius | Read Time: 5 mins | Advertise

Welcome back!

Hope you had a great Super Bowl Sunday, and are inspired by those incredible ads to get your product in the hands of new customers!

This week we’re digging deeper on the month’s theme of Product Validation. Scroll down for our crash course on market research, or click here to check out last week’s article on testing your ideas.

Let’s dive in! 🔥🤝


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Know Thy Customer

Entrepreneurship is like being blindfolded in a small raft lost at sea. If you have any hope of getting to land, what’s the first thing you have to do? Take off the blindfold!

Visibility is everything. If you don’t know where you are and where you’re going, you won’t have any clue if you’re heading in the right direction.

The same rule applies for entrepreneurship. If you don’t have any idea who your customers are and what they like, you have no hope of selling to them!

It all starts with the customer
Steve jobs was a bit of a radical when it came to market research. He firmly believed that the customer doesn’t know what they want until you show it to them (which is how we got such an innovative product with the iPhone), but that doesn’t mean he didn’t value customer insight.

As Jobs states in the video above: you’ve got to start with the customer experience, and work backwards to the technology.

Today, we’ll give you the playbook for getting that precious customer insight, so you can get your products in the hands of the folks that will love them!

Taking off the blindfold
There are three types of market research that are crucial if you want to understand your customers’ profile and preferences:

1) Exploratory research - build an initial idea of the landscape, identify issues, and gather general information. The methods used here are usually interviews, focus groups, open-ended question surveys, secondary research, and observation. They deliver qualitative results that don’t offer statistical value and are not definitive enough to base decisions upon.

The goal here isn’t to draw conclusions about what you should do. Instead, it’s all about getting an understanding of the customer’s profile and journey, the competitive landscape, and to pinpoint where you should focus your efforts

2) Descriptive research - collect statistically relevant information about the target audience and measure it precisely. The methods used here are close-ended interview questions and various types of close-ended-question surveys where the participants choose from a selection of predefined answers.

The goal here is to test the information you gathered in the exploratory phase, measure the frequency of patterns, and draw concrete conclusions about customer behavior.

3) Causal Research - determine the cause-and-effect correlation between variables and how your customers react. The goal is to test the theoretical information from the previous stages in a real-life environment and identify the relationship between variables. The results of the experiments are quantifiable and by manipulating the variables in different ways the researcher can monitor how the outcome changes, and make conclusions.

If you think this sounds similar to last week’s concepts of build, measure learn, you’re right! These principles are quite common in any endeavor that requires building something from scratch.

Case Study
Tesla used focus-groups with a wide variety of demographics to get their product adopted early on. While the early strategy was to target male drivers, the company realized that women buy only 40% of the cars in the US. If they could increase that percentage and get women into Teslas, they could reach an entirely new market!

The Model X was designed with the feedback of female-majority focus groups

After conducting exploratory and descriptive research on the market, Tesla realized that women cared about safety above all else when purchasing a car, so they went to work designing a product that is safer than the average SUV.

Upon launch, they saw huge success, which is partly why the Model X is still being produced and sold today, almost a decade later! How’s that for market research?

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Looking Ahead
This month, we’re diving into how to validate your product, whatever that product may be. In this week’s edition, we went deeper into market research, giving you resources to case studies and a playbook for how to go about conducting market research of your own. 🔥📈

Next week, we’ll be bringing you a detailed breakdown of techniques to validate your product. Check out the calendar below:

Week 1: Testing an Idea
Week 2: Market Research and Customer Insight (this week)
Week 3: Testing and Validation Techniques
Week 4: Analyzing what you learned to make informed decisions


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