Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Want a successful product? Become your most demanding customer.

Become your most demanding customer.
On a recent post on this blog, I shared with you my thoughts about the importance of clearly defining where is the starting point, referring thus to the point where you start for the effects of planning and implementation of any marketing action or plan.

I even think it's important to consider such thing as the starting point in any action that we propose to carry out in real life, but that would be a topic for another day.

In any case, it also happened that, while reading an article on the "Entrepreneurs" blog, it made reference to many entrepreneurs developing their business proposals taking into consideration many subjective product assessments, ie, getting carried away, in many cases, by their deep convinction that their idea was great, that there was an excellent market for it, that it was an out-of-this-world opportunity and things like that.

It is difficult to objectively assess your own product.

Do you have kids? Have a relationship in which you are deeply connected? Well if you do, you will  perfectly understand what I mean. In the same way that a wife finds it difficult to recognize that her partner is suffering from alcoholism or that she's being victim of domestic violence, thus it's difficult for the product creator to step aside and  objectively evaluate the different situations through which the product will pass.

The emotional bond that binds you to your product is natural, normal, and occurs from the moment that your product was on its development stage, the same way as the mother is connected with the child that is formed in her womb, or the wife connects with her partner when decided to join their lives.

Again, that link is normal and natural. However, as the mother finds it difficult to recognize the weaknesses or bad habits of her child, for you, creator of your product, it's the same. That emotional bond that connects you with the product from the beginning, in many occasions, keeps you from, or at least make it more difficult, being able to evaluate your product objectively.

There is a solution: Look at your product through the eyes of your customer.

It's a simple yet powerful statement: Step aside and try to think and act like your potential customer would. Ask yourself the same questions your client would ask, honestly ask yourself if your product really does what it's supposed to do, and take it a step further: use the product yourself as a normal buyer would.

As in the automotive industry, "take your car for a test ride". Be the test driver for your product, one that demands the best performance, one that has the highest expectations, the one that stops at every detail.

Only doing it this way, you will have real answers, valuable knowledge, because you're looking at your product from an objective point of view, a real and analytic one. And therefore, you will be able to straighten out whatever feature that isn't working properly, or add whatever you've come to realize is missing.

You might be wondering: Is it necessary to go so demanding?

The answer depends on the experience that you want to develop for your clients. If you want them to really fall in love with your product, then it pays off to be extremely picky. If you don't care that much, then you can simply leave it half way down.

That decision is simply on your hands and depends on how much you want to take your business forward. There's one thing you can be sure of: If you push yourself to the maximum, two things will happen:
  • You will have an iron shielded confidence: because you know that your product really does what you say it does, and more. Not only because you believe in it, but because it's been proven in practice.
  • Your customers will love your product: they will be as confident in your product as you are, and live the experience that you lived, because you anticipated to their needs. 
And you know that your experience with your product will be formidable, or at least one not soon to be forgotten.

Related article: Marketing; Where can we find the starting point?

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