Coined by Steve Blank, “get out of the building” refers to getting to know your customers in their own environment. This helps a company better understand their customers’ wants and needs to build a product that they actually want, not what the business thinks they want.
“Get out of the building” avoids making assumptions and uses market research to determine product features, marketing channels, distribution models, and much more. Only by speaking with potential customers will a company understand if there is a gap in the market for them to fill with a new product.
So how do you “get out of the building”? You could try beta testing, focus groups, vox pops with the public, and online surveys. Plan how you will gather information and feedback and collate this information in one accessible place.
The term “get out of the building” refers mainly to start-ups, but it can be helpful for established firms when launching new product lines.
At the end of the day, you can’t run a successful business without customers, whether you sell B2B or B2C. Using get out of the building tactics ensures you'll always have the customer first in mind when making any decision.
Connecting with your customers on a personal level through market research means you will build a relationship with them. They will feel involved in the process of creating the product and will be more inclined to buy it once it launches. Once you know what they want in a product, it becomes much easier to connect with them. Ultimately, that should be reflected in your marketing.
Because you get out of the building before sending a product to launch, it can allow you to identify any potential gaps in the market. This can be anything from a customer segment to a product feature. By getting out and talking with potential customers, you can more easily see what they want and if there is currently a lack of products addressing their specific needs.
When you do a ton of customer research, you should be able to produce a product that customers want and will purchase. While there should be a balance of risk and reward, it’s important to minimize risk when launching a product, especially for start-ups. Market research will show whether there is enough demand for your product and can shape it into a success.
Market research will tell you if you have strong competition for your product or not.
Hopefully, you've identified a gap in the market or have a unique selling point. Do your own competitor research before getting out of the building and ask customers about the advantages and disadvantages of your competitors’ products.
This will help you diffirentiate product features and target a specific group of customers.