Big Problems for New Business – Give a Result (Part 3)

October 26, 2011

Cases, Strategy Concepts, Study

Part 3 of “Big Problems for New Business”, will continue the case-study series of a new product business plan I recently reviewed.  In Part 1 and Part 2, we found some major cracks in the foundation of this business plan – it is not clear who the customer is and what the result from using the product is.

As a refresher, we are studying this business plan because of the excellent examples of mistakes that it contains.  This is a great case study to see where pieces of a basic product launch plan have been poorly done, and how avoiding these errors will help us to create our own successful long-term business strategies.

I Don’t Need This. . .

At the end of Part 2 of the case study, we concluded that this business plan lacks a specific customer and specific result for the customer (whoever that is).  The market for this product is the very broad “fitness” market and the product is targeted for nearly everyone in the fitness category.  The results from using the product are “optimum results” and “efficient time use”.

Let’s bring back our target customer and consider how the business owners might strengthen the offer to the customer.  Our customer is a new mother, 6 months after her new baby’s birth, and she is trying to lose the extra ‘baby weight’ through an aggressive exercise regimen.  She is seeing some weight loss but frustrated that her progress is not as fast as she expected.  She is unsatisfied.

If the woman above visits the new product website today, she find that if she purchases the new product she will:

  • Get optimum results
  • Be able to use her available time more efficiently
  • Get increased returns/results with the time she invests

She will not believe this product can help her achieve her weight loss goals and she will not buy it.

I Want This!

What the product team needs to do is find a specific, targeted, result that the mother will receive after she buys this new product.

A good result can be measured or experienced.  It is not something abstract that can be misunderstood or interpreted differently by different people.  A great result will be tied to an emotion that the customer has – fear, frustration, pain, happiness.  The team will want describe results that are: emotional, specific, measurable, concrete, clear, or even “tangible”.

Consider some of the following messages that could be delivered to our recent new mother:

  • Lose 1 extra pound per week, when this product is used in conjunction with regular diet and exercise routines.
  • Cut your regular exercise time by 10% and get the same weight loss results when using this product in your regular routine.
  • Lose your extra “baby fat” in 3 months, by using this product to manage your current exercise routine.

Now, these are just examples (I don’t work in the weight loss market so don’t have real customer insight here), but these seem to be better messages to this mom.  Some of the claims would need to be supported by data or testimonials to pass some basic claims support test, but these are more in-line with what might drive our post-pregnancy mother to want this product and to buy this product.

So, for us, as we think about building longer-term business strategies, a results-focused benefit for a specific customer is critical for long-term business success.

What can you do now?

Assuming you have done the steps  from Part 1 and Part 2, then take the following next steps:

  • Review the findings from your message testing with your customers.  How interested are potential customers in the result that you communicate?
  • If your assessment is that the benefit is not specific or concrete enough and not likely to have an emotional tie with the customer, then there is some work to do to understand the customer better or communicate the expected results better.
  • Interview at least 5 more potential customers about their goals, objectives, fears, frustrations and/or challenges.  Try to uncover some of the specific results they are looking for so that you can tailor your results message to them.

Please enter your comments on this post below.  Let me know the results of your own internal analysis of your customers and benefits (results!) you provide.

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