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Innate traits of creativity and how to harness so-called dangerous ones

Even if you think your offer has broad appeal, you need to hone in on the right market segments. Start with a select market and experiment with messaging and positioning. So many failures derive from the misguided thinking that you need to go after a huge market to succeed. You don't. At least not before you have learned what works.

So, how do you figure out which markets to go after? This is one of the most difficult elements to get right. Inexperienced entrepreneurs and business unit leaders often make the mistake of tallying up the total addressable market for their product and assuming a "reasonable" percentage will want to purchase. Don't do this. Instead, segment the market and go after a portion of the total addressable market.

Start with a part of your market that you think might already be familiar with your brand or product category (unless you are creating a new category in an industry). If you begin there, you will reduce your sales cycle as you won't have to sell your target customer on your concept or who you are.

Other considerations include the competition and how you stack up. If the market is already crowded with entrenched competitors, look for underserved markets.

Factor in the demographics and the fit between your brand and product strategy with market segment demographics. Choose one segment to target initially, try an experimental product offer or service pilot and calibrate based on success. Start small and grow from there.

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