Determine your target market

determine your target market

When you enter a new market you often need to go back to the drawing board. What’s worked so well in your core market may not resonate in the same way overseas. Users will want different things, have different needs, and interact with products like yours in a different way.

Of course, your product type and the industry you’re in will impact what levels you need to go to in terms of product localisation but it’s safe to say that just translating text likely won’t cut it if you want a successful product launch in a new market.

To illustrate the importance of customer centricity in each individual market, in this article we’re going to look at the entire product development process and how you can apply it to your product for each new market you want to enter.

Before we start, let’s simply say this – to have a winning product it needs to solve a valuable problem or be something that people in the market want, at scale. So it matters that you pay attention to, and invest in, getting the insight into exactly how you can do this for each new market that you enter.

How to determine your target market for a new product

Global users aren’t all the same. If you presume your product is that great that it will appeal to everyone, you’re setting yourself up for limited success. That’s not to say it won’t be well received as it is, but with some product localisation you can go from potentially minor success to massive success.

What do new users in the new market really want? And where should you focus your attention in terms of developing your product to fit?

Let’s look at where you should start.

Understanding product localisation

Product localisation is the process of adapting your product for a new market.

This could include full redevelopment of the product, creating new products, or making minor alterations to the product, such as exchanging features, layout, or customer journey. It could be the creation of new marketing campaigns and materials or looking to change the brand’s image. Adapting your approach for other cultures is also an important consideration.

How to determine your target market for a new product launch

Whether it’s a new product or you’re adapting an existing product for a new market, you need to understand your target customer and how they will interact with a product like yours. And how you should communicate the offering to them to make them want it in the first place.

This all starts with UX research.

When done right, this will give you the insight into your target audience in intricate detail allowing you to create an effective product development roadmap followed by a successful product launch.

The amount of product localisation you need to do will depend on your type of product, your company, and your industry.

Here’s what you should look to identify through your UX research:

  • What’s unique about users in the new market?
  • How will users in this market use your product?
  • What new features do you need, and which existing features need amending or removing?
  • What should your brand identity be in this country/culture: colours, fonts and design?
  • What text styles, tone of voice, phrases, etc. are most suitable?
  • Will simple translation be enough or do you need to entirely rethink your marketing materials?

Solid UX research will help you figure out how far you need to go with your product localisation for each new market that you enter. You want users to feel like you’ve created the product just for them, not that they’re using a foreign product. You should closely examine every aspect of your product and how you deliver it during this phase.

Illustration of location icons on world globe

The product development process

Your research is a critical phase but it’s only one step of your successful product development journey. Here’s a step-by-step look at the entire product development process:

  1. Idea generation
  2. Market research
  3. Planning and preparation
  4. Prototyping
  5. Testing
  6. Commercialisation

Idea generation

We said at the top of this piece that to create a winning product you need to be solving a valuable problem at scale. Ultimately, you want to create something that makes people’s lives better on a global scale and make it something that they will want or need to use regularly over time.

Of course, this isn’t a simple feat if you’re planning to launch a completely new product in any market. It’s easy to ‘brainstorm’ time and time again and come up with nothing. You can end up in a situation where you’re just waiting for the next big idea to randomly come along. That’s why it’s important to consider idea generation processes in addition to hoping for that genius lightbulb moment to arrive.

The SCAMPER model is a commonly used tool for coming up with new product ideas by looking at existing products for inspiration.

  • Substitute – could you replace materials or other elements of a product?
  • Combine – use two existing products in tandem
  • Adapt – rework an existing product so it’s easier to use or it better solves the problem
  • Modify – come up with ideas for improving a product
  • Put to another use – consider how else you could use certain innovations
  • Eliminate – make the process slicker or more cost effective
  • Reverse/Rearrange – can you look at something in a different order or in a new way?

This is a useful approach whether you’re looking for a whole new idea or if you’re looking to improve one of your own existing products.

Market research

We’ve already discussed the pivotal step in the product development process – your initial UX research. It can be extremely costly, or even a death blow to a company if they spend too much resource going down the wrong path. You need to be sure that there’s demand for what you’re creating and who/where it’s going to come from.

It’s important to remember that your target customer needs to be at the centre of your thoughts throughout the entire product development process. What do people in the market you’re launching in want from the product?

You also need to factor in competitors, analyse them, and find a way to solve the problem better or do it for less.

Planning and preparation

Note: Once you’ve found the right problem to solve, you need to be able to develop or have access to the technology to create and deliver it. Then you need to make sure the initial business model you’ve built around it is as sound as it can be at this stage. Don’t lose sight of these things by having tunnel vision solely on the product itself as you go through this process.

This phase however is primarily focused on the product and how you want it to function. During this phase you need to consider its design, how it will look and feel, and its unique attributes. This is about getting it out of your head and bringing it to life onto a page or onto the screen.

Mock up your product by sketching it out on paper or use computer-based software. Make it as detailed as possible, with notes explaining the various features and functions.

What you produce doesn’t need to be overly professional at this stage, it’s all about getting the complete idea documented.

Target market and Prototyping

Now it’s time to create your product. During this phase the objective is to create your finished product ready for production or service delivery at scale.

It’s rare that you will get this right first time, but an effective planning and preparation stage will help speed up your progress.

You will likely need to undergo a degree of experimentation and create various versions of your product until you get to a stage where you’re happy with it. Seek to make steady, consistent improvements as you go.

Depending on your product and your business, you should also look to create a minimum viable product (MVP) at this stage. This should have just enough functionality for early users to experience what you’re offering. This is to further validate your concept and get new feedback and insight from your target market.


You can’t launch any product without fully testing it first. You need to make sure it meets all necessary safety regulations, that it works as you expect, and that you’re ready for any unforeseen issues. Do you have the necessary fail-safes in place? If people use your product in an improper way what will happen? What additional controls and protections do you need to have in place?

You also need to test your marketing strategy and processes to make sure they’re getting the necessary traction. Refine as required. Make sure you’re also constantly looking to acquire customer feedback. When you have a finished product your product development journey doesn’t end, you should always be looking to continually develop to create new innovative features and to eliminate any problems that crop up.


The product manager’s and the developers’ work is complete, for now at least. It’s time for the marketing and sales teams to do their thing and get the product out into the world. It’s product launch time!

Implement your go-to-market strategy and get ready for the sales to start rolling in – if you’ve managed to follow these steps successfully and create a winning product!

Remember: create products that fit target markets

Success primarily comes down to creating a product that’s a perfect fit for the market. Getting this right starts with understanding your target customer in each different market in detail – in terms of what they want and how they behave. This begins and ends with high quality UX research initially and getting solid customer feedback throughout your product development journey, whilst keeping customer centricity at the forefront of your mind.

How we can help

At UX24/7 we provide UX research services internationally so that we can take this important step off your hands. If you want to enter a new market but don’t have the in-house resource or if you lack a local presence, talk to us. We have researchers on-location and we’re geared up to get you all the insight that you need, fast.

We can work with you at all stages of your product lifecycle to make sure it’s always optimized for success, wherever in the world you take it.

If you would like to know more about we can help you enter new markets and localize your products and services get in touch at

Related Posts