Fehmida Kapadia, President at Kapamed ConsultingInnovation and marketing strategy expert

Founder and President of Kapamed Consulting. I work with my clients to help them with marketing, strategy and innovation. I will help you build products your customers want! I work extensively with Design Thinking, customer engagement, empathy interviews, customer journey mapping,customer segmentation, go-to market strategy, product positioning, lean startup, business model canvas and project management.
I also teach Entrepreneurship and Project Management at Case Western Reserve University.

Recent Answers

"I've listened closely to my users" - This tells me you are off to a great start. You have talked to your users and understand how your product solves their pain. It is normal that your users get different value from your product. This means that you have multiple customer segments that you can sell to.
I would approach this, by identifying the different customer segments that your product serves. Eg: Let's assume your product is a reusable water bottle. It has the following main customer segments
1. Athletes
2. Students
3. People who drive extensively for work
Of course there are others, but let's start with these three main segments
The next step would be to identify the segment that you want to market to FIRST. You can identify this based on the following
1. size of the segment
2. Need in the segment (Is your product essential or a nice to have)
3. Paying potential of the segment (will you have to price competitively or will they pay a higher price for a better product)

There might be other criteria that might be specific to your industry that you want to consider in addition to these three.

Pick the segment that will be easy to penetrate and will give you a good ROI (either large segment size or higher paying power). Target your value prop to this segment. As your business grows you can add segments by modifying your message and/or product.

Having a psychological advantage is excellent. For Eg: if we were to use your example of a business school, the advantage of having a large network is that you will have greater and better job opportunities. So an example value prop of the business school is
"Education that delivers success" - You are addressing the product (education) and the psychological benefit (success).

I am happy to talk more if you need help with segmentation and targeting to your segment using both product and psychological attributes in your messaging.

Good luck with your venture!

If you are in the idea stage, yes you should absolutely test your business idea, but the testing should not cost you any money. If you are planning to start a business you want to make sure your customers want what you are trying to sell, or there is no point in building the product or service.

The reason it should not cost you anything is because at this stage you should be able to talk to 30-50 potential target customers to get a sense of how interested they are in your idea. If you see consistent interest by 70 - 80% of the people interviewed,then your idea has merit and you should think about building an MVP.

As has been described by other answers here, you need to know the following
1. Know who your target customer is
2. Know how to clearly communicate your idea

Happy to talk if you'd like to brainstorm about how to test your idea.

All the best!

This is a common question with "free" platforms/apps. How do I know if my users are using the platform and for what purpose. I am making the following assumptions about your product
1. Your product is in beta testing and you haven't started monetizing it yet
2. The apprentices that you speak of are freelancers who will use your platform to complete the task and the company who uses these freelancers will pay platform fees.
If I am wrong about these assumptions, please let me know and I can approach the question differently.

There are a few ways you can approach this.

1. When someone signs up or downloads your application, clearly identify that they are participating in the beta test of the product. They agree to submit usage information every day/week/month. You can then reach out to them to collect data

2. Send surveys to users to get feedback

3. Analytics if there is a way for you to monitor online how they are using your platform

Essentially, there is no Free Lunch. If they are using your platform for free, they agree to provide data in return.

Happy to chat more if you'd like to figure out a clear strategy of how to engage with your users for data collection. I specialize in customer discovery and have helped many companies with early stage development and market validation.

Best of luck with your venture!

As you mentioned apparel is a price sensitive industry. Since you are getting a lot of inquiries, but not enough conversions, you first need to review why you are unable to convert the inquiries into customers.
Given that this is a crowded, price sensitive market place, you should also explore your differentiation and positioning.
Lastly, definitely explore other markets where you could have better conversation.

Happy to chat!

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