Comstock's magazine 1117 - November 2017 - Page 28

n WORTH NOTING buzzwords pain point pān/ /point/, n. READERS SOUND OFF IN THE COMMENTS A problem thought to be facing a person or group of people that entrepreneurs are looking to solve through goods and/or services. BY Jennifer Snyder ILLUSTRATION: Jason Balangue I Wealth of Options: The Bank will turn a historic landmark into a foodie haven Scott Smith: Worked as a server there back in 1979 — great lunch traffic, days of the steak sandwich & martini lunch crowd. Cassandra: This is so awesome! I am so excited & can't wait, Sacramento needs this. Thank you for the story. Susan Twining: Too bad about not having access to the outdoor space. Now THAT would be special. THE BUZZ Pain points can be very real, meaning that consumers actually need someone to solve their problem. Food and grocery delivery services are a great example: Busy people see value in cutting certain tasks out of their day. But companies can also perpetuate the idea of some- thing being a problem — hoping to then sell a perceived solution. Those problems may or may not even exist in the first place. “In a lot of ways, [pain points are] the basis for how you start or what you're looking for when you start a company,” Alvarado says. “Anything like that can feel diluted at times be- cause people just kind of flippantly throw it around.” THE WORD Bamboo Creative’s services are often consultative and regularly involve having to understand the pain points of the clients of their clients. So Alvarado and his team invest a lot of time and energy in discovery and research to find the right solutions to the right problems. This helps everyone involved understand exactly why certain actions are being taken and how the team should proceed. Going down a brainstorming path without specific pain points in mind can lead to wasted time, energy and money. “Introducing people to the idea of pain points is like a really good fil- ter to just get people started in thinking about their idea and vetting it,” Alvarado says. “Ideas, in a lot of ways, are like your little baby, you know? Nobody thinks their little baby is ugly.” But as companies grow, too often they become disengaged or separated from the prob- lems they’re attempting to solve for their customers, he says. “Knowledge of the actual words is not the issue,” he says. “Knowledge of the frameworks isn’t really the issue. The issue is that we don't actually get out and experience that pain ourselves so we can't really speak to, you know, the depths of it. We don't have a sense of context for it. So that becomes very challenging because then the companies we're working for aren't really in touch with the customer.” Watch the video online! 28 comstocksmag.com | November 201 7 Former UC Davis Star Uses Performance Psychology to Train Basketball Hopefuls Berry Roseborough: Great story that is very well- written. The Syp's Touch Program has changed my son's life! Thank you. Visitor: This is a great article and a remarkable concept. As a former athlete and coach at every level except pro, I learned the impact a person's mindset has on his/her performance. What a great service Ryan is providing to athletes. This service will support them in every endeavor they pursue in life. Have something to say? Email us. editorial@comstocksmag.com. f you’re a runner, the words “pain point” might have to do with the acute twinge you feel in your right ankle after yesterday’s sprints. If you’re in business, the (often over- used) term is all about understanding your customer. It’s become an art form over the last couple decades, with tools like user personas and empathy maps helping companies get into the minds of customers. But it hasn’t always been that way. According to CJ Alvarado, CEO and founder of Rocklin-based Bamboo Creative, a full-service branding, development and content creation agency, we likely started hearing more about pain points after the dotcom bust in the ‘90s. “You had an industry that had dropped billions of dollars into things that just didn't work,” he says, because companies didn’t grasp the concept of first understanding their customer. “Around that time, we started doing a lot of different thinking around how we create viable businesses moving forward.”