Section 19 End-user learning curve

February 7th, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments
WINNERS = Products which the end user can take out of the package and start using, proficiently, immediately.

The amount of learning required on the part of the end-user will usually be directly proportional to the length of a new product’s introduction period.  In other words, the longer it takes an end-user to master using the product, the longer it is going to take to get mass amounts of people excited about trying to use it, and the longer time you will have to spend on intensive advertising to hammer home the benefits and entice them to buy one. The longer the introduction period, the costlier it becomes.  Also, I have found that the more complex a product is, the more potential customers will want to hear about the benefits of the product from someone other than the seller.  They will be looking for their neighbor or friend to tell them “boy am I glad I took the time to learn how to use this product, it sure has been worth it to me because of xyz”  This phenomenon also contributes to a long introductory period because it may be a while before someone they know, buys one.

The amount of “learning time” is usually inversely proportional to the potential number of sales.  In other words, as the amount of time required to master the use of a product becomes longer, the less sales you can expect because fewer potential customers will be willing to spend the time and energy that it will take to master the use of the product.  I refer to the potential customers’ willingness to try the product as their “acceptance factor”.  If the learning curve is perceived to be greater than the value and benefits received, the end user may decide not to “accept” or recommend the product, with the end result being less sales.

The most common mistake made here is to underestimate the amount of time it will take the end-user to learn how to correctly use the product.



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