Products and services as pain relief for customers

Rather than try to brainstorm completely novel business ideas out of thin air, and then hope that customers would buy, it’s usually more productive to work the other way around, and try to find problems that customers (people or businesses) are struggling with, and which they would be willing to pay to have solved. Then you can design and market products or services to solve those problems.

Customers will buy a product or service in order to fulfill some specific need.

Think of it this way: Imagine a customer has some kind of pain. If the pain is urgent enough, the customer will gladly spend money on a product or service to make that pain go away, as long as the pain of parting with the money is more than counterbalanced by the relief of the pain that the product or service is able to achieve.

For example, if a customer is hungry, she will probably be willing to pay for food or a restaurant meal to relieve the hunger. If she is bored, a book, a movie, an amusement park ride, or some other entertainment option could solve the pain of boredom. If a customer is feeling pain from the perception that she does not appear successful or cool enough to others, then fancier clothing or an expensive car might relieve her perceived pain.

It is important to understand what the customers’ needs are — what exactly the pain is — so the product or service can be designed to specifically address those needs and relieve the pain.

Similarly, all marketing of a product or service should center around demonstrating how the product or service will fulfill the customer’s needs and relieve the customer’s pain.

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