Do you ever think to yourself, wow, whoever invented this— is a genius.
People who take Ubers only know how ride-sharing should be: Frictionless.
Writers that use Grammarly, only know how editing should be: Instantaneous.
Creators that use Canva, only know how designing should feel: Seamless.
One of the primary reasons why startups fail (which 90% of them do) is wrong product-market fit. This is why it’s essential for founders in the ideation phase to perform due diligence with adept market research. Find a common problem faced by your industry or within your periphery of influence.
The founder of DIGIDECK by Sportsdigita, Angelina Lawton, operates one of the most progressive sports tech companies in the market because she had a clear vision of what was missing when it came to storytelling in the world of sports. As someone who frequently sat in boardrooms during her time with the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning as the SVP of Corporate Communications, Angelina grew increasingly confounded with how the most seasoned professionals in the world of sports were still using palateless, linear PowerPoints. She knew there had to be a better way.
With sponsorship and hospitality activations making up the bulk of major sports leagues’ revenue, Sportsdigita’s winning mission is to increase the number of deals closed with state-of-the-art presentations that take only minutes to build.
For aspiring entrepreneurs, here’s why it’s crucial to invent a winning product based on market demand.
Focus on Utility and Scope
Ironically, we transitioned to a digital world to make our lives easier. But along with that comes a plethora of new challenges. For example, technology experts have access to a suite of tools—CRM systems, collaboration tools, productivity tools..etc. However, the more places there are to access information, the less efficient people become at utilizing these tools to their full potential. Ensure your team is positioned to get full utilization of your tech stack by dedicating a champion to your technology and holding him/her accountable for implementation and adoption.
Next is scope. Don’t try creating a product for everyone. At least, don’t start out with it.
Angelina reflects on the success she’s had with Sportsdigita, which has touched over 400 sports teams and enterprise organizations, saying “If I had started Sportsdigita trying to be a solution for everything— finance, healthcare, transportation, entertainment, etc, there’s no way that I would be where I am today. The reason why I’ve been successful is that I owned that niche in sports and built organic demand from there.” Angelina’s motto in business is, “Don’t chase two rabbits at the same time.” This is pivotal.
In the ideation phase, one must be intentionally courageous. Focus on one niche and treat this audience like your VIP guests. When you adhere to the needs of a certain group well, you will not only earn loyal, but demand will accelerate.
Make it Timeless
Creating a product that is usable is the first step, but creating a business that stands the test of time requires an extra ‘wow’ factor.
Integrating audience-specific features will make your product stand out amongst competitors.
According to a large study conducted by Millward Brown, companies that have strong branding capture 3x the sales volume of brands with a weaker presence.
For Angelina, it was crucial that Sportsdigita crafted a distinct brand presence. Customization was a necessary feature so that companies never had to make compromises in delivering exceptional experiences to their audiences.
Sportsdigita’s product, DIGIDECK, meets people where they are; meaning busy executives can consume information when it’s most convenient for them. Additionally, DIGIDECK tracks every presentation sent, including slide view, duration analytics, and real-time notifications.
Test and Iterate Based on Response
When entrepreneurs experience some initial success in their ideas, they might be tempted to jump to the next offer or product. However, the smarter move is to keep iterating upon the initial product and give back to your loyal customers.
According to research, you have a 70% success rate of selling to an existing client, compared to 5-20% of selling to a new customer.
Companies need to be laser-focused on their current offer so that they maintain brand loyalty and do not miss any opportunities to capture new revenue.
Regularly collect input from your existing clients and use that data to turn them into lifelong partners. Brand credibility is what is going to differentiate your business in the long haul for others.
Want a shot at creating a successful business, amongst the 305 million startups that are created per year? Don’t forget the fundamentals.
Utility is king, as well as niche. Focus on mastering one niche before you move on to the next. Although these seem like basic tips, you’ll be surprised at how many entrepreneurs are tempted to stray from the fundamentals. Don’t become a part of the 90%.