When customers don’t “Buy it”


You’ve examined the problem, done the research, made your best recommendation and implemented your solution. The problem is, no one’s buying it.  Your audience isn’t adopting your fix. Now what?

Sometimes even the best products need the right story to sell them. A bit more insight into your audience can help to bridge the gap.

A recent example of this is the Lucky Iron Fish Project. Iron deficiency and anemia affect half the population in Cambodia. A team set out to find a solution and learned that cooking with a block of iron for just ten minutes could deliver 75% of the required daily iron intake to Cambodian families. The solution was simple and affordable—supply iron bars for households and watch the families’ health improve.


The problem was that few people actually used the iron bars for the intended purpose. The audience wasn’t getting the message, and it rendered the solution ineffective. The team went back to the drawing board and realized that they couldn’t just solve the problem, they had to package it in a message that was meaningful to their audience.  

A little research into Cambodian culture led them to change the product design. By tapping into the cultural significance of the fish— a symbol of hope and good luck, they were able to make their solution resonate with the audience. The Lucky Iron Fish was embraced to wonderful results. Even better, the program slogan “A fish in every pot,” became a memorable rally cry to those around the world who would support their mission.

So ask yourself, is your brand story, your product messaging, meaningful to your audience? Do you know what moves them to action?

A deeper understanding of the target audience can be the difference between products that “flounder” and those that succeed.