Stop me if this sounds familiar.
You’ve developed this game-changing idea. You’ve discussed this idea with a few close friends and family. Your friends and family have told you how brilliant your idea is and are willing to play their part in realizing its success. You begin to believe that you have finally found your big break. Years of passively and actively collecting information on different esoteric topics from different industries (not to mention the many TV shows and movies they said would never teach you anything), have finally culminated in this perfect confluence of factors to provide you with this brainwave of all brainwaves.
Your friend helps you write a business plan. Your other friend helps you build a financial model based on your underlying assumptions. You set up a meeting with an investor or a consultant and have them sign an NDA (You’ve got to protect the game-changer, right?). You show them your business plan, your assumptions, your financial model; you state that you can expect a market size of X by the end of Year 1 among the B1 socio-economic group. They look at you with a wry smile and ask,
“Where’s the Proof?”
“Doesn’t this guy understand the absolute brilliance of my idea and business model?”, you ask yourself.
You state that once the word gets out about your product, everything will fall into place. Adoption will be instant because it solves that problem that everybody has. Once again, he asks,
“Where’s the Proof?”
You sheepishly state that you discussed it with your friends and family.
Now forgive me for placing this disclaimer so far into this article, but if you truly believe that your friends and family truly represent the entire population of the users of your product, this article is not for you.
If, on the other hand, you realize your product or service will likely cater to a diverse audience with significant differences in location, income levels, culture, religion, etc., then you should consider an investment in consumer insight analytics before taking your idea or product to the market.
Generating insights from the minds of consumers is the next critical step for your business as it helps you examine the readiness of the market, the available market size, and the strategy for market penetration.
The world is littered with the carcasses of businesses that introduced products and services that were unneeded, unnecessary or lacked scalability for profitability. Insights derived from customer data can also help you identify and pivot your business to address more pressing customer needs. Look no further than the case of Viagra, which was originally intended as heart medication.
Remember, don’t jump the gun, idea generation is just a start. The true test of your idea, product or service will be in Consumer Insights Generation.
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