What are the barriers that prevent noncustomers from buying your product?


In his “Fight Off Your Heavy User Obsession: What About Noncustomers” article, David Aaker observes that firms are:

“trained to look to the heavy user, where the money (and competition) resides. But there can be a substantial market that is lying dormant because there is a deficiency or omitted feature in the current offerings that prevents these people from buying.”

David proposes turning this heavy user obsession on its head by identifying and addressing the barriers that prevent noncustomers from buying your product.  Shimano is one case in point:

“Shimano, a top bike components manufacturer, talked to some of the 160 million Americans who did not ride. These people generally had fond memories of childhood biking but believed the sport had become too complicated, expensive and even intimidating. To respond, Shimano developed and defined the experience of a “coasting” bike — wide seats, reachable ground, backward-kick braking, upright handle bars and no controls. The gear box, hidden and controlled by a microprocessor, automatically shifts between three gears. Fueled in part by the Shimano Coaster and by an increased desire to commute with bikes, coaster bikes started to take off.”


About Arie Goldshlager

Customer Insight, Customer Strategy, and Innovation Consultant
This entry was posted in Customer Acquisition, Customer Experience, Innovation. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s