But, it just doesn't fit!

Sarah was in trouble. She was shopping for a nephew, she had not seen in 1.5 years. Law school schedules are famous for making people vanish for long periods of time. She hadn't had much time to socialize with family or friends for a long time. Boys in their teens grow up quickly - both mentally and physically. From what she had heard:

"He has grown really tall. You wouldn't believe it".

Trusting family gossip is a risky affair. Not to mention teens at his age are unusually difficult to please. She finally decided to buy him a shirt. It was made of good material, designed by the best in the industry and cost her a lot! She took an intelligent guess on size based on her family's advise. The result - it didn't fit him. What went wrong? Her intelligent guess based on the market data (her mom) just wasn't good enough. Also, she wasn't sure if he would have liked it even it was of the correct size (despite it being a really good shirt).

Source: MS Word
Welcome to the world of fast changing technologies & customer expectations. First generation entrepreneurs running startups (on shoestring budgets) often find themselves in Sarah's shoes. Quite often, their target market is a teen nephew, they haven't seen in a long time. No matter how hard they try to please them - they run a risk of falling short of expectations. A lot of them do come up with 'a really good shirt'. After all they are driven by their passion. They have sacrificed time, relationships, money, resources, opportunities.. to come up with a good product. But finally, if it doesn't fit - it doesn't fit. Its very simple.

Try arguing with the customer to 'wear' it. You can almost visualize the desperation in the entrepreneur's eyes:

"But its a really good shirt", and as expected the response is:

"But, it just doesn't fit"

In the real world there are lots of 'not-so-good' products that do well, from time to time. What works for them is - "they fit", at least for the time being. For a product to be called good or bad - it needs to be considered first. If its irrelevant, no one really cares about it. 

1 comment:

  1. A good topic to deliberate for those who are in market research. Question is how to fit it ? A product is generally designed for a particular region based on the requirement. You cant fit a shirt designed for Russians on to Japanese or a car planned for F1 will not sell in Vietnam/ Laos/ small poor African Nation.
    So Market research groups/ Coy has to do research accordingly. More often than naught in Defence Sector allocations are done based on perspective plans and not only on market research even if it leads to heavy losses. At times Ads are put in the environment without the launch of main product as per schedule to undermine some other brand/ product or to wait for market reaction incl research of adversaries dealing with similar product.
    In any case it is the battle of suzerainty to capture the market over mind or vice-a-versa.

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