One of the mistakes that product developers make, especially in the technology industry, is that they design their products not for the average everyday person but for the passionate technology geek who gets excited by them.
These products will be loved by the “early adopters” because they are interested in having the newest thing and showing the world how cool it is. However, they won’t necessarily be picked up by the average person who simply uses technology as a way to solve a need or make their lives easier.
This is an important distinction to make, because the excited geeks make up a much smaller percentage of the population than the average majority. There will be a demand for “techie” products, but the target market will be so much smaller. Tech developers are obsessed with creating cool gadgets with new features but when it comes to investments the big investors will want to know that your company will be successful and they will make a big return. Making products which will appeal to the masses and provide a simple, common sense solution to a problem that everyone faces would be a much more lucrative approach.
So how can you make sure that your products appeal to the masses out there rather than just to the technology geeks? Here are some important points to keep in mind.
Understand Your Customers
One of the first and most important steps is to define your target market and figure out who your average customer is and what their habits are. Understanding the actual people who you will be serving will help you to get into the mind of the potential user and create something that will appeal to them. To do this you will need to understand what their needs are, what their daily habits are, what other tech products they use on a daily basis and what sort of technical competence they have.
A good practice might be to create an imaginary persona of the average user of your product, based upon research into your target market and customer surveys. Having this persona in your mind when you are developing the product will help you to keep in mind how the technology will be useful and beneficial to that individual.
Make Sure the Product Solves a Problem
Many entrepreneurs have made the mistake of creating a cool product which does a lot of nifty stuff, but doesn’t actually solve any concrete day to day problems. The company will focus all on the product and not on how the average person might actually use it.
Sure, the techno geeks will use the product because they are interested in playing around with new technology. But why should average Joe pick one up? Most people will only buy a product if it solves some sort of need, performs a specific function or makes their lives easier in some way. You need to know what this problem is that you are focusing on before you start developing and marketing your product.
Explain Why You Are the Solution
It is very important when it comes to the marketing of your product to explain why you are the ultimate solution to whatever problem you have decided to focus on. This needs to be laid out very simply so that people can clearly see the benefit you are giving to them.
In your marketing materials, you need to explain the problem and how it affects the average person’s life and then reveal your product as a way of solving that problem. Demonstrate clearly how the functions of your product eliminate the problem and make life easier for the user.
Build a product which is simply a cool gadget and you will win the interest of the technology geeks and no one else. However, build a smart and clever product which is not just technologically exciting but actually solves a practical need and you will be able to market it to the masses as well and realise its incredible potential for success.
Carlo Pandian is a freelance writer and blogs about accounting, finance and entrepreneurship. He covers everything from the benefits of accounting software such as the Intuit QuickBooks packages to the latest market analysis tools.