Let's make people want it (another view)

In Let's make people want it , we commented on the table saw that won't cut fingers. But my friend Tim pointed out that I missed the buying and using criteria aspect. He writes,

He's focusing on the table saw user persona, who really don't want their fingers cut off. While this is good, he's ignoring that he has to market to the manufacturer's buyer persona for his invention in order to be truly successful. He's created more problems than benefits for the manufacturer persona. They see additional costs that need to be offset and he isn't taking that into account.

Right or wrong, the manufacturer persona does not have the problem that he is fixing. They are not held responsible for their customers injuries due to the policy of acceptable risk. Their customers still need to buy table saws to cut wood even if they do occasionally get their fingers cut off.

Tim's so right: how often does a product fail because we neglect to identify all the personas in the value-chain? Sure, one type of persona may want it but we also have to get it from here to there, which means we have to identify--and market to--all the buyers along the way.

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success. 

Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.


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