Whether you’re building a brand new product or just adding new features to your existing tool, you’ll have to pitch the product idea clearly to stakeholders and potential users. Without this, you will risk building something that is neither useful nor feasible.
To that end, you can work on the message and scope the audience you will communicate it to. Both of these tasks take place during a UX workshop we organize for clients who begin their product development journey. UX workshops are vital to setting the development of your new digital product on the successful path. The workshops also help gather and organize the key information necessary to create a beautiful, effective and competitive software product.
More specifically, we work on the elevator pitch and user personas – two tools that help better understand the audience and communicate your product idea to them clearly and succinctly. In this article, I explain how you can create an elevator pitch and scope the personas as you work on your new digital solution.
Previously, I wrote about a foolproof method for choosing the best business model for a new digital product. If you haven’t chosen a business model yet, I suggest you read it and understand a number of important questions you should answer to build a competitive product. I also discuss customer journeys and how they can be used to maximize UX.
So, let’s see how to write an elevator pitch.
Writing an elevator pitch
An elevator pitch is a very brief message that aims to sell the product – either to potential customers or investors. It should communicate very clearly who you are, what you're looking for and how you can benefit an individual, or a company or organization. It's typically about 30 seconds - the time it takes people to ride from the top to the bottom of a building in an elevator.
Why is an elevator pitch important?
- It briefly communicates the essence of your business and services within that short amount of time.
- Helps to define and understand the unique value of the product so that you can communicate it clearly – this is essential for effective marketing efforts!
- It’s an excellent communication tool when you want to convince prospective partners or investors.
- It will help you channel your marketing efforts.
The most difficult thing about an elevator pitch is its brevity. You want to limit yourself to a maximum of 10 sentences. Answer these questions as shortly and precisely as possible to create one:
- Who is the target user?
- What do they need?
- What problem am I trying to solve?
- What’s the solution?
- What are the benefits of the solution?
- Are there any competitors?
- What’s the unique differentiator (or key value proposition)?
Once you answer these questions, you should be able to come up with a convincing elevator pitch. Follow the below scheme:For (the target user) _________________________________________________________who has (a need or problem) _________________________________________________,(product name) ____________________________________________________________ is (product category) ________________________________________________________that offers (one key benefit) __________________________________________________.in comparison to (the competition) _____________________________________________our product offers (key value proposition) ________________________________________.If you’re finding that writing an elevator pitch right now is a tough call, move on to defining your ideal customers and come back to the elevator pitch afterwards. Understanding your audience and their pain points should make this task easier.
Defining user personas
Once we have the Business Model Canvas and the Value Proposition Canvas, it’s time to take a closer look at the target audience. This stage of the UX workshop is about determining who are the users who would buy the product and those you’d want to sell it to. Who would be interested in it? Describing the personas is about identifying your target audience.
More precisely, define their:
- pain points & problems,
- other solutions that could currently solve their problems,
- context in which they would use the tool.
We do not look at personas through customer segments, but customer types. By default, your product offering is designed for a single customer segment. Every group that requires a different type of offering, or that will require a separate distribution channel, will constitute a separate segment.
Defining users personas – why does it matter?
- They offer a look at a product through a user’s perspective.
- It’s a simple way to ensure you are working on a solution created for a specific target user in mind, rather than a generic one.
- They represent the real target audience data gathered in a previous research.
- It yields an effective communication tool for stakeholders, subcontractors and any parties involved in the project.
This is a creative exercise. The goal is to define the ideal client for your product. Think about their basic personal information:
- Their age, location, education, career and family status.
- What is their life philosophy? What do they dream about? What hobbies do they have?
- What does their daily routine look like? What do they experience on a daily basis? What pain points, problems and needs do they face every day that the new tool could help them solve? Your solution is supposed to solve this specific need in a way that matches their lifestyle and preferences, so all of these details are important.
- What could incentivize them to use the new tool?
- How skilled are they from the technology perspective? What sort of onboarding will they require before they start to navigate the tool with ease?
- Creating a user persona profile should be supplemented with real-world data that can be obtained in a number of different ways: through customer interviews, focus groups, surveys, customer support data and/or third party research. The research does not have to be limited to what happens during the workshop only.
- Be as specific as possible. Clients often underestimate this phase, while having a clear picture of who they intend to sell the product to will help shape it in a way that encourages them to buy it and continue to use it.
- Gather the information on a single sheet, adding a user’s profile picture.
- A uniform personal template doesn’t exist; you may want to add custom elements to it depending on the nature of your product, the pain points you are trying to solve, etc. Be flexible when creating a user persona profile.
- You can create more than one user persona for the new digital tool.
Pitching your new digital product to stakeholders
With a ready-made pitch and user personas, you are equipped to communicate your idea within your organization, to potential investors and the target audience. You will find that these tools will be helpful throughout the entire product development journey. If you’re still having doubts about creating an elevator pitch and user personas by yourself, contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will help you schedule a call so that we could see whether we can help you in the process.