The essence of the lesson learned is that geographical boarders are made by man and business can and does regularly work across them. Though for a variety of self-limiting reasons, Canadian tech companies often believe they have to make it locally first before they venture abroad. Yet with larger more lucrative markets outside of the country, it’s actually sometimes easier to achieve success outside of the country first. A strange but true Canadianism.
Now let’s consider instead that your B2B customer decision maker is an area Sales Manager. This Sales Manager measured on Market Share and Revenue as well, but they may be more directly measured on the length of the sales cycle and their team’s lead to conversion rate. For this customer, your messaging could focus more on the impact of closing deals anytime anywhere; enabling their mobile sales teams to close deals faster, as well as cutting down on the number of buyers who change their mind in the previous extended time before the invoice was sent.
Startups should first start with trying to understand the market and what you can uniquely offer of value to that market. That I meant not to ignore traditional branding activities, just not to prioritize that before they have product/market fit validated. And base your branding on this discovery.
An early focus on achieving scale takes away from the initial priorities of discovery and validation – achieving product / market fit and then subsequently problem / solution fit. If a company scales without nailing operational efficiencies then they can lose control over customer acquisition costs and operational costs. The more customers you have, then the harder it can be to actually identify the need for and perform necessary pivots.
I’ve been doing customer discovery interviews of Founders that start off with some demographic questions to place some context around the discovery questions that are the meat of the interview. It’s been interesting to hear the answer the Founder gives. Because it’s usually phrased in one of two ways: self-reflective in language that talks about the function of the company; or in customer-centric language that describes the market that the customer sits in.