George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images
Making people want to buy your products or services is the goal of most business owners. While it may seem like luck is involved, most business success stories involve lots of planning and research when it comes to creating consumer demand. First, you must figure out exactly what your target market really wants, not what you hope they want. Once you develop a solution that fits their needs, you’re on the way to making customers demand even more of what your company offers.
Find a way to build a better mousetrap, and you’re on the way to creating consumer demand. Conduct research with customers and prospects by taking surveys, requesting feedback and reading reviews to find out what they really want from the types of products or services you sell. Ask lots of questions, and home in on any problems that participants keep pointing out. These problems often indicate a need for a new or improved product or service that resolves the issue, helping you give customers what they really need.
Segment the Market
Providing different versions of the same product gives you a way to appeal to new segments of the market. Segmenting is helpful whether you sell to customers in just one region or if your product is sold around the world. Start by identifying the needs of the various segments, and find ways to customize your product so it appeals to each segment. For instance, Apple made a variety of iPods with different features, storage capabilities and price points to appeal to a variety of people, helping make the product popular across a wide range of its market.
Use Online Review Sites
Sixty-eight percent of American agreed in a survey from Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange that online reviews influence their decision on whether to buy a product . The online reviews your customers post can influence more buyers, helping to build demand for your product. Build your reviews by encouraging customers to post them on your own website as well as on online review sites. Keep track of the reviews on a daily basis. Watch for patterns that may suggest your product needs improvement, and jump on finding a solution to help convince more people to want what you sell.
The old saying, “if at first, you don’t succeed, try again,” applies to creating consumer demand, too. Finding ways to improve your offerings is par for the course, as you get feedback and learn what needs to work better in order to make more sales. Look for technicalities that need to be changed, pricing that needs adjustment and additional features to make the product even better. Look for ways to make the product more emotionally appealing, such as through the story behind development, as this also helps build customer loyalty.
Nancy Wagner is a marketing strategist and speaker who started writing in 1998. She writes business plans for startups and established companies and teaches marketing and promotional tactics at local workshops. Wagner's business and marketing articles have appeared in "Home Business Journal," "Nation’s Business," "Emerging Business" and "The Mortgage Press," among others. She holds a B.S. from Eastern Illinois University.