I’ve got a pretty good track record with developing and launching new propositions, but I must admit I have also had my share of failures; projects that have a ‘revenue recovery’ squad started pretty much the day of launch, or a scramble to add the features that the customer actually wanted.
I have also led the innovation and new product teams and budgets, and at times it was an exercise in frustration. I’ve literally seen it all and I’m sure some of this will sound familiar to you.
The joys of running New Product Development (NPD) and innovation when you have
- inconsistent internal processes
- Multiple lengthy business cases
- Conflicting priorities
- The nasty fuzzy front end
- Pet projects – pushed to the front of the queue
- A lack of prioritisation framework and budgets
- The annoying executive override
- Sample of one methodology
Add to the mix, scenarios like when your company decides that it is customer or audience led and doesn’t really have a view of what it really means. Or marketing, sales, channel, service or research all decide that they ‘own’ the customer therefore they should set the agenda.
For those that know me, you will know that I always ask an annoying question like, “what outcome do you want” or “what does success look like?
If you work with me on proposition development I have this set of five annoying questions
- Does your solution really solve a problem that’s important to your customer?
- Can your solution compete with existing options? Is your solution really better?
- Will your potential customers be willing to pay for what you offer?
- How many people have this problem?
- How are you going to convince them to buy?
Having been involved in this area for a number of years I have developed my own processes and systems and studied the ideas from some of the world’s best companies and I found out they had a tricky secret.
Just like in the movies there is no need to build the full product to test it, you can just build a facade or prototype.
In the movies, the scenes seem real yet it’s often a set built on some Hollywood backlight studio – the building behind the actor just a facade but it makes no difference to the audience for the few minutes we watch the scene we are lost in the story that appears real whether it’s a facade or not. Taking that exact thinking we can use facades or digital prototypes to validate your product or service, with our service called Market Fit.
With Market Fit we work with you to understand your hypothesis, or what you need to learn and validate from real customers. We then work on defining your customer persona and who your target audience is, and then we go out and we find them.
Using digital advertising we direct them to a custom-built landing page that has a digital prototype, imagery or explainer video for your proposition and we ask the customers to give us direct feedback on the question that you want answered. With our processes and tools we can achieve all of this within weeks not months.
Based on real customer feedback you can learn if your solution is:
- An absolute success – you should continue with your plan
- A floored success – You are close to market fit, however, to maximise the opportunity you need to refine your plan or pivot, and then test again.
- An efficient failure – unfortunately you don’t have market fit, yes it is a failure but it is an efficient failure as you have found this out before you have committed to build – you have literally saved or 100’s of thousands of dollars, time and effort
The great thing about Market Fit is it is available to both Corporates and Start-Ups, in fact if you are in the right target market you may very well see one of our customer’s propositions being tested at the moment.
Take a look at our new site, watch the video and if you have a sticky question that you want a customer validated answer for book a free call in with me
And yes, we validated parts of market fit with market fit.