The idea of product/market fit officially comes out of the startup world. Unofficially, though, if you’ve been around the market research world, you’ve probably been testing for product/market fit in one way or another for a long time. The startup world sheds a new perspective on the idea, though: testing actual, not just theoretical behavior among markets.
How product/market fit is tested. Startup entrepreneurs emphasize that the most effective product/market fit tests are measurable and convert to actual purchase, download, click-through, etc. These tests measure interest from an audience.
If You’re Not Achieving Product Market Fit, Ask:
Social media ethnography can be a helpful tool for exploring both of these questions. If your product is already in-market, social media ethnography can be used to see who is using the product and what they’re using it for. If the product isn’t yet in-market, social media ethnography can explore benefits that audiences are looking and wishing for, that the product could potentially deliver on.
A Product/Market Fit Case Study: The Wrong Audience. A recently acquired beauty brand wondered if their product truly had traction with their previously defined strategic target. When we went to social media to explore commentary around the product, we found that the actual users were quite different from the target because of a “side” benefit that they truly valued…and the branding was all wrong for this target! By re-thinking their initial target, the beauty brand had an opportunity to pivot to a new audience for greater product/market fit, and ultimately bigger growth.
So, look for the people that get really excited about the product. If those advocates don’t exist, the product needs to be tweaked until it garners excitement from the audience – or, find a different audience that does get excited about the product. Either way, the days where marketers and researchers settled for lukewarm reactions from consumers and hoped to make up the difference with marketing are over, and product/market fit is a must for products to succeed today.
The Garage Group enables corporates to innovate and grow like startups. We bring smart approaches to strategy, idea development and insights to fuel business growth, including optimizing product/market fit for established and new products.