The customer is always right. It’s is the golden rule for organizations large and small, in any sector.
Today, blockchain, crypto, and FinTech startups emerge at unparalleled speeds and collect tremendous amounts of funding. However, only a small percentage of these startups prosper. Most startups invest a high percentage of available capital in product development. They aim to launch an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) as soon as possible, but lose track of who they’re designing the product for in the first place.
Regardless of the unique or innovative characteristics of your product, if customers are not interested in using or buying it, you’re in trouble. How to avoid trouble? Know your customers.
Segmentation and Customization
Understanding your customers is critical to achieve competitive advantage. The more you learn about your customers, the better you can service them. An effective method to get to know your clientele, is customer segmentation.
Segmenting the broader customer base means dividing it into different subsets. You should consider what specific features make individual customers comparable to one another and form a segment accordingly. Think of customers’ behavior patterns, lifestyles, motivations, and preferences. Also, consider meaningful demographics and geographical information while breaking-down the customer base.
Customer segmentation allows you to customize your communication, product, and the services provided. It helps to tailor marketing communications to each segment you’re addressing. You want to deliver the right message to the right customer at the right time. Doing so boosts the effectiveness of your communication and drives valuable traction to your brand.
The more precise you are, the more effective your marketing strategy will be. Once you’ve defined customer segments, start anticipating their needs, wants, and fears.
Points to consider:
- What unique features characterize your target group?
- Is your target group geographically dispersed or mostly united?
- How does your product fit to your customer’s lifestyle?
- What tone resonates with your target customer profile?
Customer Wants, Needs, and Fears
Central to knowing your target customer is identifying their wants, needs, and fears. What motivates your customer to purchase your product? Think of their unsatisfied desires, their short-term necessities, and the image they want to portray to the outside world.
The impact of customer fears is as profound as the influences of customer wants and needs in shaping their decisions. In general, people are risk averse and prefer to ‘play it safe.’ Assess what fears relate to your offering, and find ways to tackle these issues. Think of amplifying your customer service, transparency, or updating your product. Make sure that positive associations of your offering always weigh stronger than the fears associated with it.
Figure Out What’s Next
Understanding your customer contributes to your chances to succeed as a startup. Know who you are developing the product for; this opens up new opportunities to build deeper relationships with customers. Down the line, happy customers can become loyal customers, and loyal customers open the door to long-term value for your startup.
“A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” - Steve Jobs
The key is anticipating what customers are going to want in the future. Steve Jobs achieved great successes without actively listening to his customers. On the surface, Jobs opposed customer-centric approaches and ignored his customers almost entirely. However, the success of Apple products – especially in new product segments – has been rooted in a deep understanding of usability, behavior, and most importantly, what hardware and software decisions generate the most delight amongst users. Ignoring your customers is almost never the way to go for early-stage startups.
You want to understand how your product fits to specific subsets of the customer base. If no one is going to use your product, your startup is doomed to fail.
Understanding the unique features of your target customers is an incremental part of strategically positioning your organization. Superform has developed Positioning360: a powerful framework helping brands to win the hearts and minds of customers. Click here for more information about Positioning360!