When you ask yourself about your business’s offerings, of course, you’ll think it’s awesome. After all, it is your creation.
But this doesn’t accurately reflect how the market will feel about your product/service. Often, the thoughts and needs of one person vary significantly from others, even in the same demographic. So how do you get to the bottom of this challenge and make a product/service that will actually do well in the market?
It all boils down to user testing. Now, this doesn’t mean you can just ask someone a bunch of questions about how they liked your product/service and act on their answers. Unfortunately, whether they know it or not, the person you speak to will be covering up how they actually feel- Not because they’re some mean-devil who wants to hurt your business, but because when people reflect on situations, their brain often lies to them about how they actually felt based on a number of factors including ego, the desire to be nice, and sometimes even just a lack of memory.
Now, I know what you’re thinking- “Thanks Julian, you’ve made it clear that I have to test my business on real people, and then told me why I won’t be able to get real insights from them. Are you just announcing problems or do you actually have a solution?”
Well, yes I have a solution, but it isn’t easy. It’s the same reason why large companies pay hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars to designers & psychologists.
You need to get your test subjects in their live environment and study everything about how they interact with the product/service, also known as ethnography. There is no set method or environment for this, and it can range from high-budget, well thought out experiments, to going in public and watching real people interact with that kind of business. Here’s a good article on when, & how, to use ethnography.
Don’t get me wrong, you can launch a new product/service, do no research, and find that the market reacts very well to it. However, that’s just about as likely as winning the lottery. Winning over consumers is a very hard thing to do, and the more you know about how they feel in that environment, the more likely you are to succeed.