Why everyone looks at the finger and no one sees the elephant?

If you want to grow up your business, stop selling to your customers.

One of the secrets to identifying new market opportunities is to understand who the non-consumers are. The concept of non-consumption may seem counterintuitive, but it is the key to a successful business.

It is important not to confuse a non-consumer with a non-client.

A non-client does not buy your products.

Perhaps he or she buys the product of your competitor.

A non-consumer does not buy anywhere, not from you, neither from your competitor.

So, if you are designing a new product or service with a good chance of breaking the market, you need to ask yourself who is not buying your market or industry products today and why they are not buying them.

4 principles for predicting market changes

Is the product too expensive?

Is it too difficult to use?

Is it difficult to find?

Let’s make an example.

A few years ago, photo editing was for an extended period the domain of professionals and specialists.

A massive chunk of the potential market wanted to use video editing software but didn’t for several reasons.

Then came the photo editing apps.

Thanks to these apps, a vast mass of non-consumers became active customers in the photo editing market.

Indeed, the results are not as perfect as professional software, but they are close enough. They are good enough for these new customers.

And if you enroll in the Disruptive Innovation Masterclass, you will discover that good enough is great.

Read more: 3 reasons why companies fail due to disruption

The four leading causes of non-consumption

We can say that generally, non-consumption has four principal causes that can naturally be combined to block a market

  • Price: the existing offer is much too expensive and so reserve for the elite. That’s the case with the pen that was a luxury product before Bic.
  • Complexity: the existing offer is focused on technical performance and not on user-friendliness
  • Access: the offer exists, but its access is too difficult or not practical; this is the case, for example, finding a rare book before Amazon.
  • Time and user conditions: the existing offer does not correspond to the condition a part of the potential users is interested in. That’s is the case of traditional education that requires students to be present during the course.

Be careful. The causes listed are by no means objective; on the contrary, they are incredibly relative. What is expensive for me may not be expensive for someone else. What is difficult for me to use may not be so for someone else.

Learn more: To disrupt your market, first disrupt your mind

Non-consumption as business opportunity

The group of people who do not buy a particular type of product is much larger than the group of people who do. The main mistake that managers and professionals make is to persist in looking for new business opportunities in markets that are now crowded with very similar offers. Usually, the primary strategy is to propose ‘improvements’ on the previous version of the product or our competitors’ product.

Everyone looks at the finger, and no one sees the elephant.

Learning to identify non-consumers and the causes of their non-consumption opens the door to new market opportunities with infinite potential.

If you want to become a disruptor, you need to read these hidden market potentials by changing your analysis criteria.

And the first thing you have to do is change the way you look at things and see what others don’t see. Everything else is just the right strategy, hard work, and patience.

Read more: Business model Innovation: top mistakes to avoid

Igor Ciminelli, Head of Marketing at Swiss Institute for Disruptive Innovation

Do you want to share your thoughts? Reach out to me at Igor@sidi-international.org

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