Strategic Customer Analysis

It is common practice to determine your target customer when developing a business. However, this tunnel vision buyer group mentality leaves money on the table for businesses. To truly optimize profit and revenue a company’s leadership must be well aware of the many buyer groups (purchasers, actual users, and influencers) that can offer opportunity to enter into a new market space with high profit potential.

For example, say you are leather shoe manufacturer who usually focuses on retailers as its main buyer group. Through analysis of your current, similar and alternative products coupled with identifying the pain points of using your product you can realize a low-cost profitable opportunity to reel in your end users; essentially entering into a new market space.

A more effective strategic customer analysis would require you to understand the following:

  • Why buyers choose to buy your product; aka purchase criteria
  • What are the factors that cause customers to become angry with your product or company
  • What are the factors that keep potential customers at bay (you must understand their priorities and create solutions to meet their needs)
  • The preferences of your customers
  • The decision making process of your customers
  • Customer behavior
  • Why they choose to buy at a certain time (holidays, birthday, graduation, et cetera)
  • Time, travel, hassle and money the customer is willing to pay for buying and using your product or service
  • What functional needs need to be met
  • purchasing power

Businesses must also understand what factors motivate buyers to purchase based on price or quality. However, it is imperative that you just focus on the buyer group that has the highest profit potential at a lower cost and your company’s capabilities are able to meet their priorities.

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Lean Wednesday Tip: Mitigating High Growth Challenges

“When you have a high growth atmosphere there are sure to be inefficiencies that start creeping up into operational processes. Effective leaders ensure value is maintained and/or optimized instead of lost, they create efficient workflows and make decisions by fact as a way to manage the increased challenges brought on by high growth, and don’t stray away from the profitable target customer.”

Paid Tier Subscriptions based on consumer cooking levels can drive growth for Cooking Delivery Services

Cooking delivery services offer customers the convenience and adventure of trying new meals right at home. However, the offerings are very similar amongst all mayor players like Blue Apron, Plated and Marley Spoon. Fresh packaged ingredients, serving plans and delicious recipes is the main offering package. Blue Apron offers a wine subscription delivery plan and suggests wine per a customer’s meal choice which optimizes its value to customers.

However, there is an under-valued opportunity that I believe will really drive growth for these companies. By developing targeted tier paid subscriptions based on consumer cooking levels, lifestyle (fitness, vegan, et cetera), meal preparation time, dish type and ingredients will help them lure in non-customers and increase revenue.

For example, lets say a cooking delivery service wanted to target people who hate to cook or don’t have time to cook. They could offer a beginner paid subscription based on the consumer cooking capabilities with easy to follow educational video instructions, meal prep time categories, dish types, and lifestyle categories with upgrade options to intermediate, advanced and expert level cooking subscriptions. They could further optimize this by partnering with grocery stores and integrating a rewards system for users who complete and learn cooking skills (badges, coupons, et cetera).

This example demonstrates how understanding the non-customer can help companies realize common value factors between current customers and non-customers. By personalizing the cooking offering customers would be able to choose their preferred prep time, dish type (breakfast, lunch, dinner, et cetera) and lifestyle category, in turn, increasing overall satisfaction and value to the consumer.

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