We hold these truths to be self-evident: There are great products, and great markets, but is the market always ready for the product? Absolutely not. In fact, we have a personal business story about just this topic.
We were contacted by a company with an excellent solution for in-store fashion returns originally made as online purchases. You can think of it as the opposite of click-to-collect, in some ways.
Germany is a strong market for fashion retail overall.
Seemed a good product-market fit on first glance.
Germany has a low amount of online purchases compared to other European nations.
As a result, fashion retailers with brick and mortar stores don’t really have any problem around in-store returns from online purchases, because it doesn’t happen that much — and when it does, whoever is working in the store can typically figure it all out quickly.
As a result, the product and the market just weren’t aligned (at least within Germany) at the time.
So was the prospect mad at us?
No, actually. They said, and we quote: “This was the cheapest and shortest way to prove first hand that Germany is not ready for our solution.”
What does this mean for you?
Investing in a new market is a big deal, and there’s a lot of cost around marketing help, sales functions, project leadership, and more.
While it’s fashionable now to see companies like Uber lose billions of dollars every quarter, that’s not actually sound business. You don’t want to go massively in debt on an idea that won’t work in a specific market.
What we’d recommend is doing a lean, agile test of your product within that market … be that through talking to experts or trying it out with a limited number of buyers or partners, or within a set time frame to see how it goes.
This is all stuff we can help with, and the partnership can go one of two ways, honestly:
- We determine the DACH market is not ready for your offer, you pay us for the research and testing we did, and we part ways — but it’s a much cheaper solution than trying to go full-in on a bad product-market fit. See above!
- The DACH market will work for your product, at which point we move towards more aggressive lead generation and B2B sales plays.
Let us know if you want to talk more. After all, product-market fit is everything when you’re competing with locals.