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Learning Branding and Business: WHO are you going to sell to?

It is a given that a Brand is about an identity, but how does it link with one’s customer base?  Here’s an experiment I conducted recently to find out who would be interested in a new product.

Although talks, workshops, blogs etc on Branding had been popular, as a challenge I ventured into an e-book on Branding while not really being sure who would buy it!  This was a good opportunity to perform market validation, so the link to a short video to introduce the contents of the e-book was sent to a random sample of possible customers.  They ranged from NGO’s to people in business for themselves, to new business owners to established business owners and a few other categories in-between.

The responses were varied, from “Tell me how I can buy it” to “This topic is not for me” to dead silence!  All of them helped me to assess who potential customers are, and to plan a marketing and pricing strategy which would appeal to them.  The outcome was sales of the e-book which exceeded expectations.

In addition, certain market segments became clear too: those who wanted information to refer to, others who wanted individual consultation, yet others who wanted to attend a talk to meet like-minded business people and share views which getting expert answers, and even business owners who wanted to have a customized strategy for branding their businesses.

There was also a fairly large segment which wanted to show that they publicly supported the e-book by having their names mentioned, which most was encouraging for me as the author.  All this from a market validation exercise conducted using random sampling!

Not only was I able to identify who the customer segments were and what they wanted, but the exercise also revealed those who were not yet ready for Branding and whom I ought to include only in campaigns to raise awareness.  In putting a product onto the market it is really helpful to know how to target a segment to meet its desires and which segments to avoid.

If you are wondering who is ready to buy your product or service, performing market validation can save you from wasting time and money on too many segments.  The validation can be done using a simple survey at places with high traffic, or offering a sample to strangers, or even just asking for feedback from friends and family.  The information helps you to keep your brand intact and not to dilute it by wasted efforts.