There was a huge illustration on the front page of the business section of the NY Times yesterday. It was a giant toothbrush, along with the intriguing headline: Rise of the Toothbrush Test. Here’s the story summary: Tech industry giants are conducting huge mergers using their own criteria – and without the advice of Wall St. bankers.
This story has implications that go far beyond acquisition targets. It’s the essential litmus test for every startup as well. Here’s why: The toothbrush test wants you to look at your business model from a very simple perspective. Is your product or service something you will use once or twice a day? And does it make your life better?
Once you’ve defined your target audience, it’s hard to think of two more important questions. Even for a B2B product, the notion of making ‘life better’ can be translated to making it easier or simpler to do business.
The point of the story in the Times is that the old model of relying on banker expertise to evaluate P&L spreadsheets isn’t as vital as being able to determine a brand’s potential. In today’s era of building brands by community and positive buzz, it’s imperative that your products have the potential make life better. Think simpler. More fun. Easier. More rewarding.
If your brand doesn’t meet these criteria, it might be time to go back to the drawing board. Especially if you have dreams of becoming a target for acquisition.