How to create a portrait of the consumer of your product for the correct MVP positioning?

Often the reason for the failure of many promising projects is a too abstract idea of the future consumer. Minimal Viable Product (MVP) is designed to adjust your product promotion strategy. However, to do this, this tool must first be fine-tuned.

Feel like Doctor Frankenstein

The young scientist Victor Frankenstein from Mary Shelley’s novel created an artificial man (often mistakenly called Frankenstein) from fragments belonging to different people. And where there was not enough natural material, he applied his knowledge and imagination to find an adequate replacement for them. As a result, Victor’s creation became alive and independent.

Working on creating a portrait of your future buyer or user is somewhat reminiscent of this young genius’s experiment. You collect pieces of different qualities among the target audience of your product, and from these pieces, the image of an actual buyer emerges. When talking with an expert from MVP development services for startups, you will describe to him how you see the person who will become a tester for your MVP. This way, you can accurately target your pre-release research right from the start. This means getting the most complete and accurate information that will become the key to your success.

Where to get the necessary material

The simplest, and the most wrong way, would be to start fantasizing: “I think that my buyers will be men and women aged 20 to 90 with an average income of about sixty thousand dollars…” Alas, this approach is used by many aspiring entrepreneurs. When they are convinced of his fallacy, it turns out that they paid for this lesson with wasted time and money thrown to the wind.

Of course, when starting a research, you need to understand the scope of interests of those people to whom you are going to offer your product. But then comes the turn of practical work.

Let’s designate the fishing spots where, foremost, you should launch your research probe:

1. Thematic forums and groups in social networks

Find communities that are at least broadly relevant to the topic that your future product is related to. Start narrowing your search down to the branches that best fit your case. 

Carefully read what people write, what worries them, what makes them perplexed, and how and where they are looking for a solution to their problems. Do they find the right ways, or are the solutions offered to them half-hearted and leave them unsatisfied? Start participating in discussions and asking questions. Over time, it makes sense to create your own discussion thread, which will already correspond to your topic as closely as possible.

2. Google trends

Study how people formulate search queries related to topics of interest to you. See what answers they get. Try to trace the path of such requests to the endpoint: a store, a service center, or a thematic community, for example, Quora. You may find that the posts on a given topic are too general, and people write on the forums that their problem has not yet been solved. It may also turn out that the solution to such a problem is cumbersome and is forced to be used just because there is no more attractive alternative.

3. Google Analytics

If you already have a website that matches your theme and are just planning to launch a new product within an existing business, you already have an invaluable tool in your hands. Of course, an unprepared person will find Google Analytics data difficult to interpret. However, based on this information, an experienced specialist – either your employee or an MVP development services for startups expert – will provide you with a considerable number of the most diverse characteristics of your customer. If you don’t have a website yet, but you’re planning to build one as part of your MVP launch, let the developer you’re contracting for this job know that you’re planning to get and analyze data using this tool from Google.

Surely, starting from the above examples, you will already find no less effective ways to collect the information you are interested in. Let’s say you have a store or office where you provide services. You can organize a visitor survey there.

How to turn the collected data into a portrait of the target audience

Now you have a clear vision of the people interested in solving their problem in the way you are ready to offer them. It’s time to identify the core of your target audience.

Based on the data you already have, try to answer the following questions:

  • Where does your future customer live?
  • Where and by whom does he work?
  • How old is he?
  • Is it a man or a woman?
  • What is his income?
  • Why does this person need your product?
  • What requirements does your future buyer have for his purchase?
  • Why should a person buy a product or service from you? 
  • What is the uniqueness of your proposal?
  • How will people get the first information about your product?
  • How will you promote it further?
  • How do you organize feedback?
  • Do you have a strategy for dealing with objections and negative feedback?

Making a portrait

If you have responsibly approached collecting preliminary information, you have everything you need to start collecting the image of a living consumer from the numerous pieces you have.

Of course, there is an element of play in this activity, so no one will judge you for smiling as you work, but, in general, take this task with sufficient seriousness. Experienced marketers even advise you to choose photos for the future couple (presumably, it will be a man and a woman, although options are certainly possible) and give them names. Now start attaching up the flesh of the answers to this skeleton of questions:

  • Gender;
  • Age;
  • Occupation;
  • Full or part-time employment;
  • The presence of children;
  • Number of family members;
  • Monthly and annual income;
  • Way of spending free time;
  • The sight of promising goals;
  • Character type (extrovert, introvert, etc.)
  • Why does this person want to buy your product?
  • On what conditions is he ready to become your regular customer?

Summing up

Now you have in front of you not a disembodied abstraction, but a fully viable image of your customer. Don’t stop there! Using this model, create a few more models that are different from the existing ones and have dissimilar characteristics. Confronting real people, you will be able to address your ads, unique selling propositions, and calls to action directly to them. Such personalization is a reliable guarantee of your success. 

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