In the course of Customer Development , Product Market Fit becomes an enormously important step. After Problem-Solution Fit is settled, it is time to gain a true understanding of the market and get a concept and deliver a proper product that would be relevant to this very market you chose to work on.
For most startups it is a vital question, however, it is an equally important issue for the established enterprises who intend to diversify and enter new markets with brand new product ideas.
Before we go straight into the decisive steps, let’s first briefly illustrate what it looks like if the fit is not there or if it is absolutely present on the other side.
Your customers do not gain any particular value from your product, no word-of-mouth occurs to advertise your product from customer to customer, the customer base doesn’t grow as fast as you would like it to, the sales cycle lasts for too long, and many leads do not convert to actual buyers.
Your clients buy your products as soon as it is off the conveyor belt because consumers do recognize the value your product brings. Journalists are constantly on the line because they have heard about your new product that enjoys crazy popularity and they stand in line to talk with you about your success. Sales cycle proves to be way shorter than you have expected
First, you should segment your market so that later you could define your target customers with better precision. Establish a person or persons within the markets who is to become a decision-maker who can determine how your product will be bought. These might be influencers, so you might want to dive deeper and show your interest in this person.
Customer Empathy Map can become your best tool in this quest, which will help you to locate the needs and action points of your target customers. Address those customer needs that are not yet satisfied so that you can create and offer the added value to your customers.
The value proposition is the core and the essence of your product strategy; it is a sort of a sketch of how much better your product satisfies customers needs than the currently available alternatives. Find out what unique features of your product inspire your customers and how your product outperforms the solutions currently available on the market.
After you settled on the value proposition, a minimally executable offer, it is time to brainstorm and point out the functionality it’s going to obtain. This approach targets the creation of only necessary features, those that would be sufficient to generate value for your target customers. It is important to understand whether you are moving in the right direction with this product at all. The idea is to reiterate till you get the feasible product, which would be cool enough for your customers to snatch it from your hands.
In order to test your ideas, you can use a prototype that would have the capacity to deliver a consumer that very desirable value proposition. Show the best version to your target customers, and do get feedback from them because it will help you to improve and adjust your product strategy accordingly. Your prototype should be neither expensive nor complex; the idea is actually in the opposite. It works with Post-It, Powerpoint, so deploy all the creativity you are capable of.
As soon as you have created the first prototype for the minimum viable product, be sure to seek feedbacks among the members of your target group. Don’t be shy to go for individual conversations, as a user test, with your potential customers.
In the last few years, agile and streamlined approach in the quest for Product-Market Fit has become increasingly important for the fast-growing companies.
How well are you aware of the market you are about to choose and the level of the fitness of your product?
As a founder and entrepreneur, I experience every day how important customer centricity is for companies.
Integrate the essential customer perspective into your product genesis and marketing processes. That puts horse powers on the street, until it runs.