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Is There A Genuine Need For Your Product? - A Marketing Lesson

from Snag Tights [Marketing Blog]

Do people really want what you sell?

· Product Development,New Business,Startup,Entrepreneur,Marketing
Is There A Genuine Need For Your Product - A Marketing Lesson from Snag Tights - New Business - Product Development - Strategy - Kallum with a K Brain Fart Blog - Entrepreneur - Startup

Today's Brain Fart: I had the privilege of hearing a mind-expanding guest lecture from Brie Read and Tom Martin, of Snag Tights yesterday.

This was a hugely inspiring, honest and thought-provoking talk at Edinburgh Business School, where I co-ordinate the Business Incubator.

Snag Tights sells tights in "every size and every shape", and is forecasting a £2.2 million turnover in their first year of trading!!!

And they say this growth is due to a "genuine product need" and "positive marketing". I want to explore this first point in today’s Brain Fart.

Do you solve a genuine product need?

Do people really want what you sell?

This is one of the biggest challenges (and failures!) of many new businesses. You’ve invested time, money and energy inventing a new thing. You think it’s awesome, however, the market disagrees!

Instead of making a product or service in isolation, and then thrusting it on the market,

hoping that people will buy it, make sure you constantly seek feedback throughout the production.

This will help you validate your idea, and iterate it rapidly until it is ready for the market.

Experiment, gain feedback, tweak, repeat.

This concept has been executed by many successful businesses. To learn more about this, I suggest reading the Lean Startup by Eric Ries It’s a bit tech-focused at parts, however, the fundamentals are strong!

Back to Snag Tights, the founders realised there was a real problem because: they experienced it themselves and having spoken to lots of other people, discovered it was a massive issue that was not being addressed.

The notion of “scratching your own itch” is well spoken about in terms of new business marketing and product development. However, you also need to ask others if they share your pain.

And if you had a painkiller for this, would they pay for it.

Isn’t it funny that the larger tight companies aren’t solving this problem…?

And that’s possibly because they are making £ lots (technical term!) per year so why do they need to change what they’re doing?

These corporations weren’t getting the direct feedback that many women were not happy with their tights. They were still buying tights so what’s the problem?

Until Snag came along, it was only the lengths of womens’ tights that were different, not the waist size.

By gaining this insight, Snag have rapidly been able to grow a real community around their product in less than a year of trading!

This slaps the notion “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” in the face!

Opportunities are out there, especially in markets that seem saturated or well-served on the surface. It’s worth keeping an ear out - literally! What are people complaining about? Could you solve their problems?

A video [2.48 mins] I love that really brings this to life is by Tom Kelley of design firm IDEO. He succinctly explains how they took the same approach to developing toothbrushes for kids.

Perhaps the kids or parents couldn’t articulate the problem. Or more likely, they didn’t realise there was a problem, until Tom and his team observed hundreds of kids brushing their teeth.

They realised that the existing kids brushes were wrong on so many levels -

even though kids’ toothbrushes had “always been that way”.

For example, because kids were viewed as “small adults”, they just made their toothbrushes smaller versions of adults’ ones. However, kids don't have the fine dexterity to hold the thinner adults brushes. Tom and his team made them smaller and chunkier so that kids could grip them better.

And in the video, Tom explains that their client, a large toothbrush manufacturer, claims that after making this seemingly small change - which was a result of observing users in the field - they had the best-selling toothbrush in the world for 18 months!

Whilst we can’t all hire a design firm to observe potential customers using our products, we can speak to people about their frustrations and apply these concepts ourselves at a more local level. We can use this mindset to challenge the norm.

What assumptions are you making in your business?

How could you tweak your product or service to make it more valuable to your existing customers? Or serve a whole new market altogether?

When was the last time you really listened to your customers frustrations and complains?

I mean actively listening - put your own agenda aside and solely concentrate on what they are saying - the insights from doing this might just change your business forever!

Kallum with a K

P.S. If you liked today's Brain Fart, make sure you subscribe below to receive a daily dose straight to your inbox! :)

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