Your Product and Your Market

To be successful you have got to get right inside the heads of your customers so that you know not only what they need and want now, but also what they’re going to need and want next year.

Describe and perhaps write down a detailed description of the type of customer you are going to appeal to with your new business. What is their background, what do they do, what papers do they read and so on? Get out there and talk to them not only about your idea but also about their general aspirations and desires. Read the magazines they read and look at the adverts in them – they’re a good clue to how marketing people think businesses should address this market.

Think of it this way. There is no such thing as a product without a market, just as there is no such thing as a market if you do not have a product for it. So, think in terms of ‘product markets’.

There’s another way of doing this: start with the market. Look at a market or group of people that you know and understand. Perhaps it’s the managers and people you have been dealing with for years in a big company. Think of their passions, hobbies and general needs and wants at work and at play. After all, you know them well, so you know their gripes and grievances as well as their wants and aspirations. Now, think of a product or service that they might buy. If you can, think of another one and another one until you have generated a list of a series of products to meet the demands of this market.

If you’re going to understand your customers, you’ve got to be continuously in touch with them. Remember the objective: one million dollars.