Users and Customers

Users and Customers

They aren’t always the same…

In order to be successful, your product must meet your user’s and customer’s needs. Understanding the full picture of what their needs are may be the hardest part of introducing a new product. Especially when you consider that your user and your customer may not even be the same person.

A “user” is that actual person using your product. In most cases, the user is considered the primary feedback source. A “customer” is the person responsible for making the purchasing decision. In most cases, price, value proposition, and marketing strategy are centered around the customer. Let’s look at a few examples. A parent is the customer for a toy product, but the child is the user. Men are typically the customers of diamonds, but women are the users. And an administrator/manager may purchase tools or software, but their team members will be the users.

How do you make your product more desirable to them?

It is very hard to find a product that is truely designed for everyone and is successful in the market place. This is especially true when introducing a new product. Each market segment has their own needs, brand preferences, and shopping behaviors. That makes it very difficult to design a product that fulfills each segment. When companies try to do this, the product often ends up being uninspiring as it has to do many things at an acceptable level, instead of a few things really well.

When you launch a new product, you want it to have a really great first impression and make a big splash to help attract potential customers. It’s often better to target a specific market segment and address their needs really well. This will help you grab some foundational market share quickly and establish a source of revenue. Then you can consider addressing other market segments with a greater degree of confidence and stability.

Creating User Personas

It is helpful to create a “persona” or profile of who your ideal user and/or customer is. This persona serves as a fictional archtype that helps focus your team and your efforts on a mutual goal. It acts as a compass for decision making during the design process and development of your business. When faced with a decision, you’ll ask “is this in the best interest of our user?” and be able to have discussion as a team. It’s not uncommon to have more than one persona. However in this situation, it’s important to prioritze them in terms of size of opportunity.