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NABC - how to test your idea

The NABC model can help you define your idea and think through what really makes the idea valuable to your potential customers. It is also an excellent tool to use when preparing a presentation, or a pitch. The model was developed at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI).

Crumpled paper outside a paper bin.


NABC stands for Need – Approach – Benefit – Competition. Using the model can help you to bring clarity and to organize your ideas. If you do it for the first time, you are not expected to have all of the answers and your NABC will likely change as you progress.

What important need do you want to solve? For whom, specifically? Give examples of companies or individuals. Talk to those people!

  • How many such companies/users are there? Where are they?
  • How often and when do people experience this problem?
  • How big is the problem for the user and the buyer, for example, in unwanted costs?

What is the solution, in rough terms? What or which technique do you think can solve the problem?

  • How do you solve the technical aspects? What does the technology cost to produce?
  • How will it reach the customer and user?
  • How is it produced?

What is the actual customer or user benefit?

  • What is the benefit for the person using it? And for the person paying for it, in hard cash? Think about all types of costs. Will it for example require rebuilding, reorganising and, if so, what will that cost?
  • What will the customer ultimately gain from this (per year, month or other)?

What other solutions are there for the same problem?

  • Look online, interview people in the industry, check out stores, etc.
  • Also, don’t forget your biggest competitor – it is easier to leave things exactly as they were than to change anything at all.

Do it yourself

When meeting with our business developers for the first time, the NABC model can be useful to provide a description of your idea and to decide the best way to proceed.

Download our NABC template to test your idea.