Consumer Market vs Business Market

Photo by Andy Farnsworth

In the Define phase of a Six Sigma DMAIC project you must create a problem statement and business case for use in the project charter. This artifact will provide a way of rallying the team to one consistent goal.

As such, care should be taken to identify the problems you are going to be addressing in specific business language. If you are intending on pivoting to better capture a market, it’s good to keep the following characteristics of markets in mind.

Consumer market

  • Large number of customers.
  • Usually a simple purchase.
  • Purchase amounts are small.
  • Does NOT have a great detailed technical knowledge of the product.

Business market

  • Small number of customers.
  • Usually a complex purchase.
  • Purchase amounts are large.
  • Has a great detailed technical knowledge of the product.


Six Sigma Black Belt Certification Consumer and Business Market Questions:

Question: For consumer products, an increase in the percentage of returned goods most likely equates to an increase in: Taken from (ASQ sample Black Belt exam.)

(A) product not meeting specifications
(B) end-user dissatisfaction
(C) internal reject rates
(D) nonconforming material costs

Answer:  (B) End-user dissatisfaction. This is a tricky question. We can eliminate (c) because the consumer never sees the internal reject rate. (d) can be eliminated because even though returns could be a function of increased cost, it’s not a direct contributor. So now we’re down to a and b. A product not meeting specification is a quality problem, and something we certainly do not want, but it might not be a deal-breaker for the end user. This is a concept of what is a defect vs what is defective.

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