Before trying to meet a need or solve a problem, you must have a real understanding of its nature. And before you taut a solution, ensure that you’re actually offering anything at all.
Developing this understanding requires that you internalize the issue; genuinely, rather than superficially. Failing to do so puts you at risk of offering an inadequate solution. At best, it means you simply fall short of resolving the issue. At worst, it angers your customer/client/employer/user and reflects poorly on your ability to deliver effective solutions on any of their needs moving forward.
Take the example of a brunch restuarant in our neighborhood. Likely taking note of a niche market with dietary needs, they now mark several of their menu options as:
As someone who techinically falls in neither category but does play in both from time to time, this intrigued me. As it was, I was hoping to eat a vegan brunch that morning, and was, upon reading this, initially delighted to find this option. I noticed, however, that several of the menu options denoted as “vegan,” included meat ingredients.
This compelled me to ask my server, pointing to a salad:
“When you make this dish vegan, do you replace the steak with anything or just leave it out?”
“We just leave it out.”
Okay, that seems reasonable. But then it begs the question: “Is there a difference in price point?”
“No, it’s the same price.” She answered.
This is not being vegan-friendly. This is the standard vegans have come to expect, at a minimum, at any restaurant, and it is no special, noteworthy service. To assume they won’t notice the cost:benefit gap is a huge mistake. Vegans can do math – and understand right from wrong in the marketplace – just like the rest of us.
You are doing nobody a special favor – and are not meeting any niche market need – by simply removing the most expensive component of a dish – or any product – while charging the same price.
If you want to meet a need and set yourselves apart – perhaps denoted by a symbol on your menu, a line on your resume, or a product description – be sure that you:
a.) Fully understand the need and
b.) Fully meet it