An Introduction to Know

Last week I began the learn . know . believe series with a post on learn. The basis of learn is quite simple. The first time someone encounters your product, what do you want them to learn? The complete post is available here as a reference.

In this post, we’ll focus on know.

Similar to learn, the foundation for know also begins with a single question,

“What has <product / service / company name> done? For whom?”

The purpose of know is to help people understand exactly how your product / service / company will benefit someone like them.

A prospective customer won’t know if or why a product will benefit them at this stage. They are still not committed and do not have a personal frame of reference.

They will know, however, that a product will have a high degree of potential to benefit them because it has benefitted people just like them.

Let’s take a simple example.

If you know a friend loves to ride a Cannondale bicycle, this friend is built like you, weighs about the same, rides the same type of roads or trails you do, etc. you are more likely to know that a Cannondale bicycle may be right for you, too.

What has the bike done that is so valuable? It has provided someone like you with a quality experience – dependable, lightweight, rigid and responsive frame, etc. You know what it has done (delivered a quality experience) and you know for whom it has been done (your friend). Significant barriers to adoption are removed when someone knows.

Sometimes knowing comes with ownership – as it’s the only way to really comprehend what the product can do for you.

In other situations knowing can come easily via third-party experiences.

The execution of know is far more unique than the execution of learn. Your execution of know will vary significantly based upon the nature of your product and your target customer base.

Regardless of how knowing occurs, it is a critical step in the process. Without know, prospective customers and customer’s alike can’t reach the most important stage – believe.