This Entrepreneur Learned That When You Try Making 'Something For Everyone,' You Attract Nobody
Introducing our new podcast, Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer, which features business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side happy, wealthy, and growing. Feifer, Entrepreneur's editor in chief, spotlights these stories so other business can avoid the same hardships. Listen below or click here to read more shownotes.
You want customers to love your product, of course. But what happens when they don’t?
Related: After Realizing Customers Didn't Share Her Vision, an Entrepreneur Makes a Big Change -- And Sales Grew More Than $3 Million
The simple answer: You have to make a change. And it won’t be easy.
Travis Merrigan knows how difficult the process is. He’s the co-founder of Grayl, a company that makes a bottle that also filters water -- but when it hit the marketplace, sales weren’t what they’d hoped for, and many customers and retailers said the product line was confusing.
“It's a very, very challenging thing to put your heart and soul into your very first product,” Merrigan says. “You know it's awesome. You know it's groundbreaking. But then to listen to the things that aren't right and to listen to feedback that's not positive, and take that not as an insult to your idea but as prompt to make some change.”
In fact, it took three years for Grayl to completely understand its target customer and how to reach them. It required completely rethinking its product, its marketing and the retailers it built relationships with. But the payoff was worth it: Grayl has gone from a product people didn’t understand to one that’s now sold in more than 350 stores, including REI, and raised $222,450 on Kickstarter. The company saw triple-digit sales growth in 2016 and expects to replicate that in 2017.
Related: Podcast: From a $50 Consulting Gig to Millions of Website Visitors, How 'The Points Guy' Turned His Idea Into a Booming Business
In this new episode of Problem Solvers, we examine what happened in those three years between product dud and product success, and what every entrepreneur can learn from Grayl’s turnaround. Listen to the show below, or subscribe on iTunes, Google Play,or wherever you get your podcasts.
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