A profound understanding of your target groups and their problems is an essential and critical ingredient for the development of a successful solution.

Expand your understanding of your potential customer and find out which problem your idea solves effectively.


Template: User Profile Canvas

Use the User Profile Canvas to develop corresponding personas for each of your identified target groups. With the help of the User Profile Canvas [explanation] you get a good feeling for your customers and you can regularly compare your idea with your personas to check whether you are on the right track. You can find an example of a completed Persona Canvas here.

Template: Problem Interview

The problem interview aims to answer the following questions:

-What is the biggest problem of your target group?

-Which products/services solve this problem today?

-What desires/expectations to the solution does the customer have?

-Does the customer find a problem as such and does he or she show sincere interest towards the solution?

Problem Interview 1.0

With this guide, you will discover the world of your potential customers in less than 10 minutes and find out what problems and needs they are concerned with in the context of your idea. Use this template for an exploratory interview, if you want to understand your target group better.

Problem Interview 2.0

This somewhat more detailed version of a problem interview has a validating character, i.e. by means of an exchange with potential customers you want to find out which of the problems you have identified for the customer needs to be solved the most.

Insights: Sinus-Milieus

Discover different Target Groups –

Let’s meaningfully divide your total market into the so-called target groups and also segment relatively homogeneous subgroups. What differentiates your potential customers? Can you identify pat- terns of demographic features, behaviors, needs, and values of your target groups?

Also, consider the so-called Sinus-Milieus, a common targeting segmentation that will help you assign your target audience to a social milieu

Insights: Asking the right questions

The Mom Test

Read about how to ask the right questions in a customer interview.

This book is about “how to talk to customers and learn if your business is a good idea when everyone is lying to you.”

Insights: Making Products People will buy

Becoming Great at Making Products People will buy

Read this chapter “When coffee & kale copete” by Alan Klement and learn how to develop products & services your customers will love!

Insights: Becoming a Problem Solver

Video: Michael Perry – Becoming a Problem Solver

In this amusing talk at the “how to web” conference back in 2019, Michael Perry, Founder and CEO of Maple, explains, why you should become a problem solver.

Insights: Early Adopter

-Determine your Early Adopters –

At this point, you should swap the researcher-hat for the CEO-hat and set a clear focus. Find out which of your target groups are most interested in your idea, i.e., which of your updated personas suffer from the problem most. The idea is to primarily address the first 16% of your total market before you bother about the mass. This part of your market is referred to as early adopters or the customers who have the most vivid interest in your idea before it is ready for the market.

Why focus on early adopters first?

-They are often ready to further develop your solution together with you & provide honest, constructive feedback

-Early adopters are conscious about the addressed problem, find it especially irritating and, therefore, are ready to pay for solutions which are not yet perfectly mature

-Early adopters represent a perfect environment for learning & validation: if you don‘t manage to convince your early adopters of your solution, it will be hard to persuade other parts of the total market

-Limited resources require focus on your target group to not get lost in irrelevant information

Find additional information on different adaptation groups here.

Insights: How to inspire action

Watch this TED talk of Simon Sinek on how great leaders inspire action and learn how you can convince your customers with the “Why”.

EN/18 Minutes

Insights: Interview Tactics

This article covers Interview tactics in order to find worthwhile customer problems.

Insights: Customer Exploration

In the context of Design Thinking, great importance is attached to customer exploration. In this insightful summary, you’ll learn more about the various possibilities of a comprehensive journey to discover the world of your customers.

Best Practice

Podcast Swisspreneur: Luiza Dobre

Swisspreneur regularly interviews entrepreneurs on their founding journey. Listen to this podcast with Luiza Dobre, founder and CEO of Komed Health.

Among other topics, this episode focuses on

  • Reasons for leaving the corporate world – 7:35
  • Finding the right problem to solve – 16:19

Podcast Swisspreneur: Teo Borschberg

Swisspreneur regularly interviews entrepreneurs on their founding journey. Listen to this podcast with Teo Borschberg, CO-founder and CEO of OTO.ai

Among other topics, this episode focuses on

  • Finding the right customers – 5:41
  • Product Market fit – 25:19

Podcast Swisspreneur: Herbert Bay

Swisspreneur regularly interviews entrepreneurs on their founding journey. Listen to this podcast with Herbert Bay, Co-Founder and president at Shortcut.

Among other topics, this episode focuses on

  • Mistakes Swiss startups repeatedly make when creating a product – 01:19
  • What makes a great product? – 26:22

Best Practice: Finding Customers

In our format Inside an Entrepreneur’s Mind, we introduce inspiring entrepreneurs from our Bluelion Community and talk about their entrepreneurial journey.

This time, we talked with Hans Zimmermann from Sustema about the insurance industry and finding the right co-founder. Click here to read the full interview and watch his response to our question

“How did you reach out to your first potential customers?”

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Process Guide: Pitch

Topic Guide: Fundraising