See the consumer-in reponse to Tom Martin

Tom Martin from Zehnder Communications recently wrote a blog post entitled “Be the Consumer”, in which he laments that to truly understand the consumer you must be the consumer.  Says Tom:

Only a person that actually uses a product or service can figure out new uses for said service/product. And that, to me at least, is where the money is at… innovation.

But as he is dead on with this, I had a conversation with a start-up yesterday in which they wanted to be all things to all demographics with their product offering. I ventured that why not try to be really good with a smaller market segment first? That way you can get to know your market segment a little better-what makes them tick, the how, the why and the what for. Be the consumer but see the consumer as well.

Yes let’s be the consumer to innovate, but let’s see the consumer that you’re going to innovate with. One thing that social nets have taught us if anything, is that everyone hangs in a network for a reason. At the least, they probably identify with that group within that network for at least one reason. Find it.

To expound on Tom’s point,  If you’re going to sell to me, at least take the time to find out where I am, what I do and how I do it. Do your homework. Innovate.

See the consumer. Be the consumer. Become the consumer.