Customer Discovery is a crucial process that helps entrepreneurs understand their customers and create products that meet their needs.
This approach is a key part of the Lean Startup methodology, which prioritizes learning and validation before investing heavily in a new business venture. By incorporating business model validation into the mix, you ensure that your startup’s value proposition is strong and viable.
Customer Segments (the who)
Customer Segments refer to the specific groups of customers that your product or service aims to serve. These segments can be based on common needs, behaviors, or other attributes. It’s important to clearly define and understand each Customer Segment in your customer discovery journey. This allows you to make informed decisions about which ones you will prioritize and which ones you will ignore. By doing so, you can design the rest of your business model around a deep understanding of your customers’ needs.
Value Propositions (the what and why)
Value Propositions are the solutions, benefits, and features that your product delivers to meet your customers’ needs as part of your lean startup approach. They should differentiate you from your competition and explain what your product is. Strong value propositions typically include product features, gains for customers, and pains that your product is solving. This aspect is critical in business model validation, ensuring that your offering stands out in the market.
Getting to MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
Once you have a good understanding of your customers’ needs and how your product addresses them through your customer discovery process, you can determine if you have a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). The MVP is the smallest version of your product that can solve your customers’ problems. It’s not meant to be the final product, but rather a stepping stone to get you into the market and gather feedback as quickly as possible. An ideal MVP, as part of the lean startup methodology, is so valuable to customers that they actively seek it out.
Ultimately, your Customer Segments and Value Propositions should complement each other and verify that you have Product/Market Fit. This combination of customer discovery and business model validation ensures that your lean startup is well-positioned for success in the competitive marketplace.