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The term customer benefit is tied to the customer’s needs, which are satisfied by a particular product or service. This need determines which product or service the customer buys. The term benefit sounds very rational. But even needs like fun, luxury or a certain image can be a customer benefit. In most cases, the customer benefit is comprised out of a main benefit and several additional benefits. For example:
Main benefit: A customer wants to buy a bike in order to get from A to B. Almost all bikes that are there on the market satisfy that need.
Additional benefit: The customer also pays special attention to the fact that the bike is low-maintenance and very stable. Furthermore, it should not cost too much. Which bike the customer finally buys depends on those points.
Only if your product or your service offers a benefit to your customer, you will be successful. Therefore, the customer benefits should be the focus of your planning! Working out the customer benefits, can be a long and hard process and should be completed before the actual work on the business plan.
You can convincingly present the results in your business plan. What is the customer’s need? How has it been satisfied until now? How can you do it better? “Better” here may refer to various aspects such as quality, time, cost or service.
Two things to note:
You identify the customer advantage by answering the following three questions:
In order to answer question 1, it is helpful to think about what kind of people visit your restaurant, buy your clothes or use your consulting services. Where do they live? Are they younger or older, men or women, families with children or singles? What is their income? What interests, values or preferences do they share?
For business customers, you can state whether it is a large or small company, whether they belong to creative or traditional sectors and where their headquarters are located.
Only by having an accurate picture of your target audience, can you determine and explain their needs (question 2) and satisfy them (question 3).
The following aspects help you with that. It’s best to ask your potential customers directly! Just start a small street survey or call some companies. Explain to your business partners that you are an entrepreneur and that their counsel is needed. Most people like to help:
After this exercise, you know how your customer benefit differs from that of your competitor. Now you can clearly identify your unique selling point.
By asking the customer, what he would be willing to pay for the product, you can set your prices. Now you can decide whether it is worth starting the business, or not.
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