Does Your Creative Idea Have Market Potential? Ask Your Customers!

#Artbox Toolkit
3 key questions to ask your buyers before launching a creative product, service, or business. Read on from our Artbox Toolkit.

You woke up this morning with a vivid creative vision that you truly believe will make a difference. You already imagine its future on a grand scale and are excited to share it with the rest of the world. Quite often, obsessed with the mesmerizing siren call of a creative idea, we forget to ask ourselves, “Is this product or service-to-be necessary for the market?” Are there customers considerable enough who will be ready to purchase tickets to our performances, get a subscription to our music app, book our photography services and thus fuel our vision and take it to the phase?  

Perfect is the enemy of good. Yes, knocking out comprehensive marketing research and analysis can be a daunting prerequisite for the successful launch of a creative product, business, or service. Your response in this scenario should be to chunk it up into small steps and objectives and start investigating your potential clients today. This process will help bring the subtleties of your idea to the foreground of your mind, refine your concept, collect key information, and define your unique value in the industry. No tedious desk research or expensive focus groups — just 3 key questions that will unlock some doors.

First things first: before appearing in front of your potential client with your burning questions, make sure to get properly prepared. At this point, your creative product or service might still be in the idea-stage. Don’t be overwhelmed by that fact since you don’t have to know the specifics or detailed features of it. Yet, one thing you must have a clear idea about is the problem you want to solve or — in most cases in the creative industries — the need you strive to meet. Apart from the joy the process of producing will bring you, think about the value you produce for your clients. All successful creative products are like vitamins for their target in the market.

Now that you formulated your idea as a necessary product concept for your future clients, the next step is to find an accurate sample for them. Go to people who are relatively closer to your conceived target group and who can be most objective and truthful in their feedback. Pay attention to the following criteria:

  • Geographical - e.g.: Town mouse or country mouse. 
  • Demographic - e.g.: IT students in their early twenties with low income; a part-time teacher in their late fifties; a stay-at-home parent with a PhD.
  • Psychological - e.g.: career-oriented woman with little time for herself; nomadic backpacker who wants to see the world; eco-activist who cares about raising awareness about environmental causes. 
  • Behavioral - e.g.: Compulsive or conscious buyers. Loyal or hungry for novelty?

For your last step, which is asking the right questions to your buyers, we present you with the 3 key questions that will prove most effective and informative for the development of your concept.

1. Tell me about the last time that you encountered this problem/need. How did you meet that need or solve that problem?

Dig into your customers' past buying experiences to refine your concept. You will learn about their pain points, find out the ways direct and indirect they have resolved them so far, and how effective and satisfying those have been. As a bonus, you may catch the names of the current players on the market.

2. How much are you currently spending to solve the problem/meet the need? What will motivate you to spend more on it?

Hear your customers formulate what new features, options, or services they would be ready to pay adequately for. This will be really helpful later on when setting the proper prices and even inspire some additional features. In your validation stage, It will also play its role in estimating your sales to ensure your viability or forecasting your revenues as accurately as possible.

3. How do you usually learn about this kind of product or service?

Start planning your communications strategy. It is never too soon to think about the channels that will come in handy to put the word out about your product or service and make sure you place them where your clients will hear about them.

You are now good to go for an insightful conversation with your clients to bring your idea to the next level! To help you stay on track when conducting your interviews, we have prepared an interview sheet that will guide you through the process. Download it here.

Step-by-Step Recap

  1. Formulate your idea as a solution
  2. Find a relevant potential buyer to question
  3. Ask the right questions using our template

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