It’s no longer the case that “if you build it, they will come”. It’s no longer enough to simply have a product or service in order for a business to thrive. If there is no demand for that product and service, no matter what great a deal it may be, people won’t buy it!
It’s a common mistake that new businesses and existing businesses make — coming up with new products or services that they themselves believe to be amazing, but that people don’t really want or need.
Let’s dive into a little scenario. Business A has been working tirelessly on a brand new product. It’s amazing, completely unique and offers something no other competitor or product in the market does. It’s going to revolutionise the industry they operate in.
They invest thousands into a product launch marketing campaign — they have a new website set up, ad campaigns set up and ready to run on Google, Facebook and so on. Adverts are standing by to go into industry magazines. All of the pieces are set.
The product is ready to be dispatched anywhere in the world, and there’s enough in stock for 10,000 orders. A team is stood by waiting to fulfil orders. All that needs to be done now is give the go ahead to launch, and the money will start coming in — right?
Wrong. The large launch campaign goes out to tens of thousands of people who are deemed the target audience. They see the various ads — some, a few thousand may look further into it and visit the website to learn more. But if Business A is lucky, they’ll get maybe a few dozen orders in the first week.
OK, so it’s a start right — not quite the 10,000 sales they’re able to fulfil ready now but they can build on that. More sales will trickle in, and the brand will build up and soon they’ll have thousands of orders a week. Surely?
After all — the product is brilliant, people will be mad not to buy it!
Over time — sure, trickles of sales come in but again just not the scale expected. And worse still, customers start to get in touch. They want a refund, they want to return the item and get their money back.
But why would this be? Surely they listened to the advertising and realised the product was best for them before they went ahead and bought?
Why is it then people are now wanting their money back? Business A starts to receive just as many of their own product back as they are sending out in new orders.
Not only are new sales consistently low, a majority of those sales end up as refunds which costs Business A more than they make — so they’re better off not selling the product in the first place with so many refunding!
What an awful situation Business A finds itself in — but they’re not alone. Many businesses experience this all of the time. Where have they gone wrong?
They’ve tried to make their product fit the audience — they’re so convinced it’s a great product they haven’t bothered making sure people actually want it and that it solves a problem they have.
Let’s now look at Business B.
Business B has some great ideas for new products — but they’re cautious rushing into production before they know whether their audience will actually want it.
So they do some research — asking tens of thousands of people what they want — what problems they have and how can they be solved.
They take this information in and scrap all of their original product ideas — and instead create one that exactly meets what people are saying they want or need.
When ready, they launch a small marketing campaign. They’re confident people will buy before they’ve said they would, so they don’t need to invest as much in advertising and targeting more people.
They launch, and in days they have fulfilled hundreds if not thousands of orders. And they just keep coming!
And better yet, weeks and months after the initial launch, past customers get in touch. No, they don’t want to refund. They want to order more! And they want to give you a great review.
What an amazing position Business B finds itself in — what did they do right compared to Business A?
You guessed it — they made a product to fit the audience, not the other way around!
It really is as simple as that. If trying to make an audience fit your product — you will end up with few sales — and many who do buy will ultimately refund.
It’s worth taking the time to do your research, and create a product that people actually wants. Sure, this may be a pain staking process and means you have to hold off for a few months. But it’s more than worth it in the end.
Make your product fit the audience, DON’T make the audience fit your product.