Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Stick with it kid!

Ok time to catch up....

One thing I have been told in starting up this project is to "use your resources" and "don't under estimate the importance of market research". In keeping with that, I sent out an email to all my former business professors kindly begging them to allow me 5 mins in their classroom to do a short market research study. Bada Bing! Prof Hoffman of Finance 380 responded right away saying "you can have 'your 5 mins' ". Sweet! I prepared a one page survey with questions like,
"On a scale of 1 to 10 what do you think of the product, 1 being negative and 10 positive" and "What would you expect to pay for something like this?" etc. I also came prepared with a power point presentation to boot. That Monday evening students shuffled into the classroom with review papers in hand, diligently studying for their finance quiz that night. My 5 mins came and went. I thanked the students for their help and thanked Prof Hoffman with his very own ASU frame.

Phew! Glad that was over, I left excited to read what the students had to say. I had 75 responses to evaluate so I sat down on a bench next to the Memorial Union and started reading. I scanned the top sheet and apparently a male, junior, from out-of-state HATES me. He gives the product a 1 on the scale to 10. Ok that sucks. When I passed out the papers, I informed the class "this is completely anonymous so feel free to tell me what you really think" and thats what I get. When asked what you would expect to pay, one guy put $3. Ouch!

Frantically, I call anyone who will listen and finally get ahold of my Papa. Dads are great. Positive Peter, as always, he says to put it in perspective. "What do the other reviews say?," he asks. I respond that most were positive and/or contained constructive criticism. In fact, when asked, "Would you be more likely to purchase the product for yourself or as a gift?" more than a handful responded "Both". That wasn't even an option! Some positive comments included, "Very cute", "Its perfect", and "I hope someone buys me one for graduation."

My dad goes on to inform me of what I already know, but needed to hear. Not everyone is going to like/use my product. If people don't like the product, it doesn't mean they hate me. Take all the responses into consideration, then light fire to the negative ones and post up the positive ones. Thanks daddy, you are the best!

Overall the results of the survey have armed me with very very insightful information on product design and realistic price points. If anything, this has fuelled my fire to keep going even more. Staying positive, I figure, if 1 person out of that class of 75 likes it enough to buy it and their are 55,000 students at ASU, I'll be okay. However, it was definitely a reality check. One of those little bumps in the road I have heard so much about.

Next steps....fulfill P.O., email sororities and athletics teams, and do an event on campus. Woohoo!

Alyson Heineman

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