Some startups execute a product, raise a round then start marketing only to learn that the demand is not what they expected. If there’s demand, only then can you supply (and charge for it). Are there simpler ways to find out the market demand for your product?
Google Ads Keyword Planner: Google has a tool which tells us how many people have searched for a particular keyword which can also be filtered geographically. This gives us an idea of basic awareness of a category / industry. Use the ‘Get search volume and forecast’ section and paste the keywords that you want to research. So if you are working on packaging coconut water and selling it in the free market, you can search for the terms linked with your product like ‘fresh coconut water’, ‘order coconut water online’ or ‘coconut juice’. Go ahead and search. Here’s how much people are searching for those keywords per month.
MCA (Indian Ministry of Corporate Affairs): All Public Limited entities need to submit their AOA (Articles of Association) and their balance sheets which are public information as per Indian ministry rules. You can visit the MCA website, lookup your competitor entities who are already in the market and download their annual balance sheets. You get a fair idea of the earning potential and market demand by doing your share of due diligence. If your competitors are earning good money and the market demand outstrips supply, by all means, jump. Go. Do it. Right now. Visit https://mca.gov.in->Home>MCA Services>Document Related Services>View Public Documents->Annual Returns & Balance Sheet E-Forms
US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC): This is an American body which works similar to the MCA for the United States government and makes sure all regulatory compliance is adhered to by Public companies. You can visit their EDGAR database to lookup any Public company. Visit https://www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml and start searching. All countries will have a somewhat similar body where investors can lookup public company filings to research and make sound investments.
Social Listening Tools: You can search for competitor brands and check what people are talking about and how they are reacting to their offerings. You will also be able to estimate what those same consumer groups talk about, their likes dislikes and other behaviours and is a great tool for consumer behaviour insight.
Survey: The best way to take a survey is on the ground. Physically visit a place where you will find your target audience and ask them if they really want a product. You will get rid of your initial jitters of approaching complete strangers quickly enough when you start getting surprise replies from them (“oh a coconut water flavored jelly would be top!”) that you never imagined before and you now have several validated pivots along with a fair idea of demand for your primary product.
After you have validated the market demand, you would need to read Market Planning and ensure you plan and get those correct numbers. You will need it to know what your offerings can help achieve and the potential value of it all. You can also read up on How to make your product stand out in the crowd.Featured Image by rawpixel.com on Freepik