The Demand Pyramid – Stimulating New Markets Through Perception Demand

The Demand Pyramid –  Stimulating New Markets Through Perception Demand

I just finished the Class Note for next week’s session of Tekedia Mini-MBA (register for next edition) which goes live tomorrow on the Digital Board. We are focusing on growth through stimulation of new market nexus, using Perception Demand which I have written extensively in Harvard Business Review. Until you can reach that mountaintop of Perception Demand, your leverageable moment cannot come, at scale. I share some components to explain the N.E.P of the thesis.

Needs Customers know what they want and look for them in the market. Many companies pursue to serve those frictions which are evidently known. For example, a customer wants electricity in Enugu Nigeria and an electricity company offers that via coal.
Expectations Customers’ needs have been met but they expect a new dimension of service. Consider an environmental activist who is being served with coal power in his house in Enugu Nigeria. Yes, even though the needs have been met, the customer will still be expecting to power the house with renewable energy source like solar or wind. Any day a company offers solar solution in that locality, at competitive pricing, that customer will possibly sign-up, disconnecting from the coal solution.
Perceptions The customer has never imagined or ever thought of this demand domain. The customer never conceived of the possibility or existence of this friction. However, the day, the customers see the product, the customers move in droves because the product clearly met their needs, exceeded their expectations and took them into a new domain by fixing their frictions. Most times, focus groups and surveys cannot capture perception demand because until the users have the products in their hands, they cannot make sense of the value. See my Harvard article in next section of this class note on how Verizon missed Apple iPhone, and Steve Jobs’ lack of interests on market study. The legend had posited that even customers do not know what they want! But when you give them the “next big thing”, they come to party. So, for him, the plan was to go into that esoteric level of creativity to stimulate latent needs only few like him could decipher, and turn the consumers and customers into fans. Greatness comes via stimulating and serving Perception Demand. On the pyramid, it sits on top because only few can get there.

Videos, Written Materials, Cases, etc are in the Board – out 12 noon Lagos time tomorrow.


1. Advance your career with Tekedia Mini-MBA (Sept 13 – Dec 6, 2021): 140 global faculty, online, self-paced, $140 (or N50,000 naira). Click and register here.

2. Click to join Tekedia Capital Syndicate and own a piece of Africa’s finest startups with a minimum of $10,000 investment.

3. Register and join me every Saturday at Business Growth Playbooks w/ Ndubuisi Ekekwe (Sept 4 – Oct 23, 2021), Zoom, 4.30pm WAT; costs N20,000 or $60.

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