It’s perhaps easy to think that your idea – your product or service – is enough to win in the market. When you have invested the emotional energy, time and money in a concept, then you’ve already bought into the fact that it ought to be a success.
Of course you being bought in and someone else being bought in are two different things.
I think there’s value in it and people should buy it.
I believe there’s value in it and I’m prepared to buy it.
Whatever your thing – your idea, business, product or service – it needs to have four distinct components before anyone will be willing to buy or invest in it.
- A clearly defined market segment
When you have a clearly defined market segment, two things happen. Firstly, you get clear on the person (or people) you’re talking to. And secondly, that person (or people) know that they’re being spoken to.
Compare this with the idea of going broad and of not defining a clear market segment. In that instance you’re talking to no one and, in return, no one is listening.
Who is your ideal customer? What do they believe and where might you find them? When you write your value proposition or your promotional material, who is the specific person that you’re talking too?
- Something that makes it different to the rest
Knowing what you do that is word class allows you to be clear on why someone should work with you. Apple make beautiful products, Google does brilliant search and McDonalds does incredible consistency. They do those things better than anyone.
What is the one thing you do better than anyone else? What is it that you do that makes you unique in the market? What experience do you provide to your customers that they can’t get from someone else?
- Revenue generating assets
There’s two parts to this. Your business product or service has to generate revenue. Simple as that. If it doesn’t, it’s not viable. But also, whatever you’re creating has to be something that people can point to, ‘that the thing I’m buying’ – it needs to feel like a product, even if it’s not a physical product. Companies that excel do so because of a system of products that take customers on a journey over their lifecycle
What are you creating that is driving revenue? This could be a process, a programme or a tool, but something that is your intellectual property. And how does it connect as part of a system and in a way that drives revenue over the course of the customer lifecycle?
- The creation of value
A product or service that doesn’t create value is just a manifestation of ego. Therefore what you do has to make a difference to your intended customer base. It must be linked to a goal, objective, problem or challenge that they face.
What value are you creating for your customers? What are you helping them to do or to achieve? What problem are you solving?
Cleary defining a market, being clear on what you do better than the others, creating revenue generating assets by delivering value. Those are the keys.
Often easier said that done but essential nonetheless.