Letting Your Users Guide You – Before You Build

November 21, 2023

By Jennifer DeLaRosa, Product Manager

Who is my target audience? What are their motivations, fears and aversions? Let’s do a pulse check.

Everyone who has ever tried turning their idea into reality knows this fear: What if no one buys it? What if no one wants what I’m selling? What if I invest my heart, time, and money into this, and no one cares? It’s a legitimate fear. Only 10 percent of startups escape failure, and one of the leading causes of this is not knowing the market. The solution seems obvious: Learn your market and eliminate one of the largest pits you can fall into while launching your product. When it’s your dream on the line, however, this can be far easier said than done. 

When you’re caught up in a brainstorm and your ideas are exploding through your mind like lightning flashes of creative brilliance, the last thing you want to focus on is the wet blanket of market research.

This is why every visionary needs a sidekick that keeps them focused on the target. At VAULT, we perform a series of exercises at the kick off of a new project, providing insight into who the intended users are, what problems they need solving, and how we can provide the solutions. 

Learning your market is more than just analyzing the competition or sifting through predictive growth rate data, though these are extremely useful areas of study that VAULT includes in its standard project kick off.

The success or failure of every company comes down to the people who are purchasing the goods or services. Whatever economic analyses say, it will be people who decide if your idea is worth their time and money. Thus it is key to develop an intimate understanding of these individuals from the earliest stages of building a new product. 

Who are my customers? What are their motivations? What are their fears and aversions? How do I do a market analysis? Where do I even start?

We ask these questions during our consumer research well before any wireframes are even built. The answers are distilled into a collection of user personas: Archetypal profiles that represent the primary clientele that would benefit most from your idea. The VAULT product team then uses these personas as a touchstone throughout the life of the project. 

The creative process is an exciting, ever-evolving journey where it’s easy to get lost in what could be.

Keeping a touchstone returns the chaos of creativity to a focused goal. Remember your target users. Remember Ashley the Ambitious who doesn’t have time for a complicated workflow. Remember Finn the Fastidious who needs every detail customizable and suited to his needs. We hold every new idea, every obstacle’s solution, every design option up to these profiles and ask the question: Does this best meet the needs of our user personas? Keeping the users as your touchstone will ensure your resources are spent achieving a product that will reach your people.

VAULT gives you the freedom to dream big while we keep hold of the pulse of your audience, securing the progress that brings you the revenue and conversions you need to join that successful 10 percent.

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