As entrepreneurs, we are often quick to mention what “needs” our businesses meet. We call it our value proposition.
But, think about it, are you really sure your business is satisfying a need or a want?
To put it very clear, a need is what people can’t do without. A want however is what people can actually do without.
In the words of Chidi Nwaogu, CEO of publiseer, needs are must-haves while wants are good-to-haves.
Just take a look at your value proposition, that’s product or service. Is it a must-have product? Or is it what people would want just to feel good.
If your product is a must-have or is meeting a real need, then, like Nwaogu puts it, you’ll spend less in adverts.
The product will just market itself. Or put differently, the happy and satisfied users will help you promote it.
However, if your product is a good-to-have, prepare to spend so much in advertising. Trust me, you’ll need to whip up that want instinct to the extent of compelling the customers to buy.
Your customers will have to be inundated with messages and images of your product or services before they can spare some cash for it.
As a startup with obviously limited cash to invest in advertising, look critically at your value proposition. Ensure that your product meets a need not a want.
Just take a look at it, how much do sellers of sachet or bottled water spend on advertising?
Can you compare that to the astounding budget Coca-Cola puts aside for advertisement?
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How should you model your value proposition?
My advice? If you’re a startup, endeavor to develop products or services that are must-haves rather than good-to-haves.
Again, just like Chidi Nwaogu rightly puts it, a lot of entrepreneurs are confused. Some invent problems that actually don’t exist and develop their value proposition to solve such problems.
The fact is that because you think it’s a problem doesn’t really make it a problem. Others might not consider it as a problem.
Your guess is as good as mine that if they don’t believe it’s a problem, they’ll almost never appreciate and ultimately patronize the solution you’re offering.
Therefore, as entrepreneurs we must focus on developing products that meet well established needs. Don’t think that because you’ve innovated some crazy technologies, people will sway towards your product.
Think about it, which of the big boys you know of creates products or services that don’t meet real needs?
Dangote Cement, one of the greatest success stories in Nigeria around now made over N390 billion in profit after tax by meeting a need. A need for building materials for homes. Everyone needs a place to lay his or her head. Hence, Dangote Cement is meeting a real need.
So think about your product or service and be very sure that you’re meeting a need, indeed a real need and not just a want.
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