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Is there a market for your product? What follows are some steps you can take to find out.
Define Your Target MarketThe first move to make is to define your target market. Who are the people that would likely be most interested in your product? Consider factors such as age, gender, income level, location, and lifestyle. You need to understand your target market in order to tailor your product to their needs. This could be a challenge—you’re essentially working on hypotheticals. But it doesn’t have to be. Think about the problem you’re trying to solve with your offering, then identify what demographic tends to have it the most. That’s the segment you’re aiming at.
Look Up Other (Possible) PlayersNext, research others who are selling your kind of product (or something very similar). How well are they doing with it? Is there evidence of real demand for what they’ve put out? Also consider the quality of their brand of the product, and where it falls short. Note that they are your potential competitors. Besides giving you some insight into the market, knowing them will help you differentiate your product and create a unique selling proposition.
Conduct Market ResearchDon’t just stop at defining your user demographic or examining your competitors. Gather hard data about the market you’re looking to sell to and glean as much as you can from it. The first part of this process may be done through surveys, focus groups, online research, and other methods. Market research will help you understand the needs and preferences of your target market, as well as identify any gaps in the market that your product can fill.
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Develop a PrototypeOnce you have a better understanding of your target market and competition, you can start developing a prototype of your product. Your prototype isn’t (necessarily) your final product. It’s a version that will allow you to test your product and get feedback from potential customers. Its performance (in terms of sales) should give you an idea as to how well it’ll do if or when a final version is rolled out. Just make sure to iterate and improve your prototype based on the feedback you receive, and observe how well-improved versions do at the market.
Test Your Product in the MarketAs we’ve already hinted, the process of validating and refining your product for the market is ideally continuous. The more you fine-tune it to match the needs of its targets, the better it’s likely to do in its market. When you float it out, the degree of success it achieves will give you a better sense of demand and help you tweak your marketing and sales strategy.
Analyze the Results You GetThe final step is to analyze the results of your market testing. Did you receive positive feedback and sales? What were the challenges and obstacles you faced? Use this information to further refine your product, marketing, and sales strategy, and prime your business for more wins.
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Final WordsYou probably won’t know for certain that there’s a market for your product unless you research, test, and analyze data relevant to it. By following the steps we’ve discussed here, you’ll gain a better understanding of your target market, competition, and industry, and create a product that meets the needs and preferences of your customers. Featured Image Source: Muzawed
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