Do you have to be market-oriented or is this again one of the buzz words that hides more than its reveals? Or should you be customer driven? Let’s take a look at the two words and concepts and see why Alex and I have chosen not the term market but customers for our canvases.
I just return from a workshop for entrepreneurs in Wolfsburg, the birthplace of Volkswagen. We used the business model canvas to focus the entrepreneurs and their coaches on the core building blocks of a business models.
Interestingly, most participants of the workshop always talked about markets, that we need to be more market oriented, that we have to conquer new markets. But is this true?
Markets, top-down approach
Markets are the sum of customers that spent money and therefore have shown a demand in the market. But a market is abstract and impersonal. You can not sell your product to a market. There is no Mrs Market to write a bill to and that is exactly the problem for entrepreneurs. You might be in a great, growing and profitable market but that does not mean you have one single customer who pays your bills.
Markets is a top-down approach very well suited for analyst and consultants. The market is great for analysis but not good to sell something to.
Customers, bottom-up approach
Let’s take a look at customers. As a business you need an individual client that is willing to pay for the service or product you offer. (more…)