customers often share little things that annoy them and we quickly move to justifying what we do, or “defending the fortress “instead of listening and making necessary changes. It is my desire to serve my family.to listen to their needs. So although my wife has mentioned her concerns a number of times over the past 24 years, I quickly mentally rationalized the feedback and did not listen and I did not change my behavior. I failed to be intentional about something that obviously concerned someone I cared about. It would take little effort to accommodate her requested change in my behavior. However it would require a change of habit.
In my last post I shared a process to conduct a value proposition audit. The goal of this exercise is to insure the value proposition your sales team is communicating still resonates with your buyers. Once you understand how your buyers buy and key buying criteria you can shape your value proposition so it instantly connects with the buyers in your market. One company who has done an excellent job of this is Yeti.
Ryan and Roy Seiders identified a market problem they understood intimately. The coolers on the market were just not holding up for outdoor adventurers. The lids would cave in, handles would break, and latches would snap off and gave them a bad overall experience. Could Colman or Igloo or others owned this market for high-end coolers? Yes…if they were listening to problems their users were having. They both were in the market long before Yeti.
Like Gunner Kennels, these two brothers set out to solve a market problem. In 2006 they were on a focused and simple mission…
“Build a cooler we’d use everyday if it existed. One that was built for the serious outdoor enthusiast rather than for the mass-discount retailers. One that could take the abuse we knew we’d put it through out in the field and on the water. One that simply would not break.”
The more intimately you understand the problem to be solved the clearer your value proposition will be. Just as I shared how InVue has a simple yet clear value proposition, so too does Yeti.
What started out as a quest to make an indestructible cooler has led to other products the market needed when they searched for problems to solve. Each of these products are designed based on customer feedback.
“ We decided early on product innovation would come from necessity and first hand experience”
Once they solved the problem for outdoor enthusiasts they asked themselves who else might have similar problems and they share this …
“We are so glad we were not the only ones looking for a Yeti. Today it is the cooler of choice for outdoor enthusiasts, pro tailgaters and back yard barbecue kings.”
As the company continues to solve unresolved market problems I believe they will add other buyer personas to their list. For example, my son is a police officer and he and all his other officers use Yeti to keep their coffee warm and their drinks cold.. As my son puts it…
“I can put some ice and a beverage in my Yeti rambler and I will have ice cubes in my drink at the end of an 8 hour shift.”
I now see road construction crew members, firemen and other service professions paying a premium to solve their problems with Yeti products. Knowing Yeti you will soon be seeing other indestructible products for service professionals who work outdoors.
When you understand the problems to be solved the burden is on you to communicate how you solve them. Yeti does and excellent job in their point of purchase that only a market leader would do.
So how about your company and your market…
What unresolved problems are your buyers facing today?
Are you going to build a category based on an unresolved market problem?
What if your competitor finds it before you do?
Is there any reason why you would not want to do a value proposition audit to find unresolved market problems?