Feb 18, 2022
Key to growth - 'Customer-driven' approach
Every good start-up has a strong and compelling idea as to its core that determines the approach, the demographic, and the strategy for that start-up.
However, focussing on building a product often takes their mind away from a crucial question that would ultimately decide the future of their brand, which is, “Who am I even building this product for”?
Losing sight of the main objective i.e. solving a problem for the target demographic can make a brand go off the track which would consequently result in a sub-optimal experience for the end-user which isn’t something any start-up should even consider. As long as you are solving a clear and present problem that a group of users faces, you are on the right track. This is crucial, considering that 42% of start-ups fail because they just do not solve or provide a market need.
The underlying theme of the approach has to be empathetic towards to customer and try to witness the experience from their perspective. An innovator focuses on building and is generally petrified of one thing in particular — negative feedback. Hence, they seek praise and not criticism but without criticism (constructive), an innovator fails to meet their milestones.
One of the top entrepreneurial minds around the world, Steve Blank has coined a process known as customer development. The principles of his method are simply personified:
- There are no facts without customer feedback. One needs to talk to the users and get a thorough understanding of their expectations, needs, and preferences.
- No business was built on nice-to-have features. The most important thing is to make your customer more successful by solving their biggest struggles, challenges, and frustrations. The important thing to remember is that no concept survives its first contact with the market. This essentially means that do not spend too much time drawing them up. Instead, take a few minutes to put it onto a business model canvas and then take it to the market and test it.
The ideal combination for any start-up will always remain a mix of building and user research. One needs to know what makes their solution valuable for others.
Another thing that entrepreneurs ought to be mindful of is that there is invariably a set of things we do that indicate that we are now either digressing or totally off track. If you are doing one or more of these, you need to stop. This also ties in with the need for advisors or strategists for the brand or start-up as they would be able to better align with the entity without proof of any extra revenue. Launching a marketing campaign without identifying the right product for the right customer can bring an idea to its knees. At Jani Ventures, our team of experts and market leaders ensures to keep our clients and investees focussed on what matters while they support the idea that has potential, revealing in a partnership that keeps on blooming.
Make a list of prospects, look for referrals, work for your inner and professional circle, attend relevant industry events, team up with other business owners, build an online presence and spread the word on social.
A customer-centric marketing strategy is one for a particular company's marketing activities, the main purpose of which is to meet the expectations and needs of its customers. This type of strategy should include accurate guidelines and goals that the organization is trying to achieve through the implementation of prerequisites.
Innovate an awesome product that solves a real-world problem, brand yourself, connect with influencers, leverage your email list (distinguish between prospects and real buyers), partner up strategically, test everything, and create original content.