Your social media following on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, is a powerful tool to help you develop your product range. In this article Joanne Griffin, talks you through her top tips for utilising your ideal customer for product development help.
Ask your followers questions, but make sure they’re the right ones. If you ask someone ‘Do you like this?’ Most people will answer yes (or potentially no) as it’s an easy answer. Plus it doesn’t give you any indication as to why they like it or would they even buy it.
The great thing is you can ask these questions on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter posts to get the answers you need. Plus it’ll add engagement to your posts meaning they’ll be more popular, and seen by more people in the algorithm.
Use the polls feature on Instagram stories as this is a super quick way of people adding their voice with little effort, and again shows that your followers are engaging with you and your content. The question feature on Instagram stories is great to get more in-depth feedback too.
Look back on conversations you’ve had with people in your DM’s and emails. Is there anything that people keep asking for that isn’t in your range? If people are asking for something, then it shows there is already a demand which is great news when you come to launch! Plus you can message these customers to say you’ve developed this product with them in mind.
Find Facebook groups that have your ideal customer in and ask questions in here to get direct feedback from the customer who would love your product. Whatever your niche there will be a group – be that local mum’s, comic enthusiasts or garden lovers. Join it, connect and chat and listen to what people want – don’t just turn up and sell.
If you want to do a deep dive into what your community wants then build a survey and link to it in your bio or website. Here you can ask more in-depth questions about what they like and don’t like in your range or what they would like to see more of. Give people options of what you’re thinking about developing and see which gets the most clicks as this will give you a good indication of what to produce next.
And if you do create prototypes for your products and get people to test them. Then ask your testers to give you feedback on what works, what doesn’t and how the product performs. Find people you trust who won’t share the product before it’s launched and send a small gift or sweet treat as a thank you for being involved in the product development process.
Asking your followers questions on what they prefer as you’re developing new products means you’re taking them behind the scenes of the creative process. People are nosy and love to feel like they are getting an insiders view so make sure you show them fabric swatches, initial drawings, blurred out photos or the packaging.
It’ll also make your followers feel involved and part of the design process. Plus you can ask them questions about what they think the new product is. And you may get a few new product ideas to develop from this too!
Obviously, you don’t want to give too much away and spoil the surprise when a product launches (or risk it being copied). But sending out teasers of a product will build excitement about it, and you won’t have a cold audience when it does launch.
And encourage people onto your mailing list by offering them the first look and access to buy a new product before it’s launched fully, this gives them a reason to subscribe which is a win-win.
And remember you don’t have to use every single one of these tips. Pick the ones that work for you and have fun developing your products with the help of your ideal customer!
Arnold & Bird was started by Joanne Griffin to help home & gift retailers see what’s possible and stretch their products ideas even further. She specialises in producing product development ideas and designs for creative brands that are intentionally planned to sell and grow your business
Using her experience of 13 years in e-commerce, Joanne is here to take your Pinterest inspiration and work with you to create designs personalised to your business.