To build a successful business, you need customers: that’s a given. It’s also a given that you need lots of customers. But did you know that not all customers are good for your company? There is actually a specific group of customers that you don’t want to attract. Attracting the interest of these consumers could actually mean your new product is going to fail. But how could that be possible?
A recent study from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University describes these disastrous consumers as “harbingers of failure.” You probably know someone like this, someone with “unique” tastes. These are the people who still reminisce about a flavor of soda that was only available for a couple of months 10 years ago. These consumers will buy a product when no one else does, and they will keep buying it and products like it. But this very small niche market is probably not going to be enough for your company to sustain the product.
Check that your new innovations, whether products or services, appeal to more mainstream customers. Unlike the “harbingers of failure,” customers with less unusual tastes will actually help you meet your business goals, rather than give you false confidence with an influx of sales. Unless of course you want to attract that unique niche, in which case, don’t say we didn’t warn you.