Hypothetically, there are two customer segments we are considering targeting for new product development. We haven’t really started searching for the product idea yet. First we’d like to decide which segment we’d prefer. Let’s suppose one customer segment is a small, hard to reach market that doesn’t have much money and the other customer segment is a huge market with deep pockets that’s easy to reach. Now imagine the product solution we eventually come up with for the smaller market revolutionizes the world of that customer but the best product idea we can come up with for the bigger market is just a so-so, nice-to-have.
Which market should we choose to pursue? It’s not even a contest. Go for whichever market you have a revolutionary product for. Even if that market doesn’t have much money and they are hard to reach. If the product rocks their world they’ll crawl over broken glass to get it. We can build on that passionate adoption and branch out to more products and even cross over to adjacent markets. Do you know how many people on food stamps somehow find the money to support a $1,000+/yr iPhone habit? Create the right product and customers will find the money. Create the right product and you don’t have to reach the customer, they will find you. Google has still never run a product ad. Continue reading »