Having worked with multiple companies launching new digital services and mobile applications, it has become evident that traditional models to review the business environment that a company operates in don’t always apply to making pragmatic decisions. Traditional frameworks like Porter’s Five Forces and SWOT etc can help get an overview but are very much focused on the company (internal) or external elements rather than how the client perceives the product.
In response, I developed the CAPE model to help digital businesses get a sense of how their clients might perceive their product before launching into any minimally viable product development or using lean start up processes.
I ask my clients to keep their customers at the center of their thinking and put on their business super capes by asking:
- Do they care?
- Are they aware?
- Will they pay?
- What is their experience?
In my experience, how much a client will pay is a function of how much they care about the product or service you are offering (pain point), how aware they are of it (marketing) and how they experience the product. If you wonder if your mobile app or web service can be monetized, start from the determining and validating how much your client cares about the product or service you offer, how aware they are of it and how they will experience it. A terrible user experience can invalidate how much pain the product solves. And if no one knows your product exists, then it doesn’t matter how much your potential clients care or what a great user experience you have developed. Each of the Care, Aware and Experience elements can be tested in minimally viable product phases and aligned to client need.
Using this simple model will help you focus on what the client needs rather than the external factors that may or may not affect you. Try to keep each of the Care, Aware and Experience circles full and your clients will pay more!
About the author
Terry Rachwalski is co-author of Business Diagnostics 3rd edition. As a business advisor, she developed the CAPE model to help clients decide how much to charge for products but also as a filter to determine if the product is a good fit for a market. She continues to refine and test the model as she applies it to a variety of client problems and industries.