The old saying tells us that “the customer is always right,” and successful brands know that there is a lot of wisdom in putting the customer first. After all, the reason your company exists is to provide a solution for some sort of problem that your customer has.
In the business world, the term “pain point” refers to a specific problem that your target audience is experiencing. It is the reason they are looking to your company (or your competitors) for a particular product or service. However, it is easy for businesses to get the pain point wrong or misunderstand what will really engage a target audience member and convert prospects into loyal customers.
This is because the obvious, surface-level pain point does not always address the core customer motivation. To really understand motivation, we have to understand that every human has a core set of psychological needs—such as safety, connection, respect, autonomy and freedom—and that products and services are simply ways to meet those needs.
For example, when John subscribes to a meal catering service, it’s not just because he wants to eat delicious food (although that might be part of the motivation). He subscribes to a meal service because he values his free time and autonomy and doesn’t want to spend hours cooking in the kitchen every week. His pain point is likely a lack of freedom and flexibility in his schedule or perhaps feeling overworked and overwhelmed.
By speaking to this hidden pain point, a meal service is much more likely to get John’s attention and convert him into a loyal customer.
To discover your customers’ hidden pain point, start with the obvious pain point and ask yourself what motivations might lie underneath. Then survey your target demographic and create audience personas so that you can confirm your predictions and narrow in on the core needs and desires your brand fulfills.