Fitting in with the Behaviour of Consumers

Despite the fact that you believe that your invention is the greatest on the planet, not everyone is going to be interested in its use. Unfortunately, this is simply the reality and is often a common problem with many inventors as most believe everyone will pay top dollar for their product.

Inventors are often so taken aback and excited about their inventions that they often fail to look at the bigger picture. While the product is outstanding in terms of form, fit and function, this matters very little if no one is willing to buy or use it. Therefore, inventions have to always ask: Does the invention fit in with the behaviour of consumers?

As I continue to stress, knowing your market (or your consumers) is critical. Inventors must take into account how their product fits into the current market. In other words, inventors should ask:

  • What need does my product meet?
  • Are there other products similar to mine already in the market?
  • What is the current price point of these products? How does this pricing compare to mine? Is my product affordable?
  • Who are my competitors?
  • Why might consumers buy another product over mine?
  • How is my product’s use communicated to consumers? Do they understand its purpose?
  • How is my product perceived?
  • What goal do I foresee my product achieving?

Consumer behaviour is often difficult to change as there are a variety of influential factors from brand loyalty, budget, lifestyle, etc. If you find that your product requires consumers to change their behaviour, more often than not, your product will fail. Consumers rely on habit and recognition to make purchases and, if your product sits beyond these categories in unfamiliar territory, consumers will often show reluctance in buying your product. Again, this is where it is vital to know and understand your market by conducting effective market research.
Inventors must also remember that consumers often think in relative terms. This means that if a consumer cannot quickly or easily relate your invention to something that they currently use, need or want to fix, they will be less likely to use your product. If you product targets a niche market, for example, you must understand the behaviour of this market and how you can best engage them to positive react to your product. Otherwise, your product will most likely fail.

To avoid wasting both time and money by pursuing the invention process through the design and manufacturing phases, consider the following:

  • Who is your target market?
  • Can you describe someone within the market?
  • Is your product affordable relative to the average income and spending habits of your market?
  • How do consumers view or perceive product? How does it meet their current need or solve a current issue for them?
  • What is the consumer behaviour of those within your market?
  • Does your product aligns with that behaviour?

Above all else, do your market research to better understand the behaviour of consumers and what role your product can play in the market.

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