Target check: does your idea resonate with the people it affects?

Every project starts with an idea. It is crucial that you confront your idea with reality at an early stage. And the reality is your target group. It is these people who have to like your idea and not you yourself. Get to know them as early and as well as possible, then find out their concerns and what they really think about your idea.

Example VillageOffice

VillageOffice focusses on three target groups:

Jenny and Dave, who came up with the idea of VillageOffice, were themselves part of these target groups. Dave, as a suffering commuter who until now, was not even aware of co-working as an option. Jenny, as the operator of a rural co-working space, who soon realised that such an offer can only be developed by many spaces working together.

  • 1. Commuters who in future want to work in a co-working space

  • 2. Employers who want to offer their employees this option in future

  • 3. Co-working spaces that want to accept these employees as members with a special offer

Both held countless discussions in their respective target group:

• Jenny, with numerous players in the co-working scene (target group 3)

• Dave, with countless commuters (target group 1)

• Dave, with his line managers at Swisscom, his employer at the time (target group 2)

The result at the end of the target group check:

• Around 30 players from the co-working scene declared their willingness to take part in a trial.

• The majority of commuters were interested in taking part in a trial provided their employer supported this.

• The employer questioned would be happy to look at the idea in more detail.

How it works

Four steps on how to approach the people in your target group.

  • 1. Initial contact / family and friends

    Do you know people from your environment who belong to your target group and who you could question in a quick and simple manner?

  • 2. Elevator pitch

    Can you summarise your idea in a comprehensible manner in just a few sentences? It would be great if you could, as you have to be able to communicate your idea to your target group.

  • 3. Go to your target group

    Jump in at the deep end: go to where your target group is. Observe and learn by visiting certain districts, restaurants, events, etc.

  • 4. Sales pitch:

    Address people directly and attempt to sell your idea. Hold at least three to five sales pitches with potential users.


Try to think like your target group. Ideally, you should even go a little beyond this.

Be aware of the assumptions that you are making about your target group. Are they plausible? Will the target group really behave in this way? And for each assumption, consider whether and how you will be able to observe and thus examine it at a later time. With statistics, surveys or interviews, for example.

Target group check:

test an assumption that is key for your project. And then go out and get close to your target group.