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The worst advice I have received: “Stop writing.”

The worst advice I have received: “Stop writing.”

I got that advice from a best-selling author who wrote multiple books and a very successful blogger. I looked up to her and thought, “Only if I could have my blog be as impactful as hers one day,” followed by a sigh and then by following her advice.

Her intent was genuine, she shared what worked for her, and perhaps even if I followed her exact footsteps, I would have had the same results. She meant well—that I know. The idea was not to stop writing because writing is bad, but she wanted me to take a step back, do the customer research that I can’t emphasize how much is important, set a strategy, and then, only then, I would start writing. I fully agree with her, and that’s the kind of advice I would give as well.

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Customer Research: How much do you think you know your customers?

We were designing a product for a particular customer segment when one of the technical “experts” decided to take one design direction because he knew better.

He said, “I have been doing this for many years, and I “know” what customers want.”

Forget the fact that he wasn’t a designer; he still thought he “knew better.”

Why?
Design is such a subjective topic. Everyone has a point of view. It’s not like you are engineering the system of an autonomous car, right? THAT for sure needs expertise. But design? Everyone can do design. Or so they think.

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Boost your sales with a research-backed method for innovation

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” – Henry ford

Sometimes, when we think about innovation, creating new products or services, we think about what is familiar to us.

You might think I wish to create something that I want or something that I am passionate about. While your passion is crucial to keep your engine going, it might not necessarily be what your customers want.

There are two primary schools of thoughts when creating new products:

1] Ideation: Ideate, brainstorm, test as many ideas as you can, and fail fast.
2] Needs and challenges: Find out about your customers’ needs and then serve them.

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2 Types of desires that make your customers buy

If the desire is what makes customers buy, then what is desire? 

The million-dollar question, “How can I tap into the desire of my customers?”

But before we talk about “how”, let’s first explore “what” is desire.

If I want to simply summarize desire, I would in two categories: 
1. Desires that are based on biological triggers
2. Desires that are influenced by mass advertisements

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Make money by tapping into your customer’s desires

Making money is not that straight forward, or else, the phrase “money doesn’t grow on trees” wouldn’t exist. 

There is only one way to make money - that is by selling a product or service to customers who would value it and pay the price you have asked for.

Customers are human, and the most fundamental part of us as a human is that we buy for a reason. 

We buy to satisfy our hopes, dreams, fears, and emotions.

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Does social validation work?

Hell yes! 

Even when you don’t know it.

What is social validation? 

“When we are uncertain about what to do we will look to other people to guide us. And we do this automatically and unconsciously.” -Robert Chialdini

Have you ever caught yourself in Amazon’s “Customers who read this also read…” section and thinking, “huh, let me check this out”? 

That is social validation.

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Why conduct customer or ‘user’ research?

We are all the same but different. I always think that. I know that

We have emotions. We are driven to take care of those we love. Survival comes first. We all feel sad, we feel doubtful and we feel courage. We might even think the same things. But then again, we are different.

What I like might be different than what you like, and that could be for the very simple reason that I come from a different cultural background than you, because I had different challenges, or grew up in a different neighborhood. It could be because of the school I went to or the languages that I speak. My job, my friends and the way I live could make me different than you, and similar to those who belong to the same school, to the same culture or the same neighborhood.

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