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Solve problems & pain points

We've seen ambitious product developers come up with innovative ideas for something really cool, but then the product falls flat in the market. What goes wrong?

Well, a lot of things. For one, the "build and they will come" mentality is dangerous. Approach new product development from the standpoint of solving a genuine "pain point" in the market, rather than something cool. Apple can get away with successfully launching an iPad to a market saturated with phones and laptops but do you have the phenomenal design chops and incredible brand of Apple? If you don't, luxury manufacturers aside, you are better off examining a thorn or vexing problem that people have , rather than a "nice to have" product. (By the way, appealing to emotion and identity is how luxury and other "nice to have" products get sold but this is a grave challenge without an in-demand brand.)

Done right, your marketing will be centered around a solution, but that will be the subject of a longer post. The concept gets to a problem we often witness: companies lead with their cool product features and cross their fingers people get interested. How often does that work? Eh. Think first about how your offer will make someone's life easier or better and you will be winning.

Product strategy also has to encompass the idea that you cannot at once be the lowest-cost, highest-quality, coolest product with the most features. Choose one strategy that fits with your brand identity. Do you want to be known as the low-cost provider? OK, then you do not need to have all the features. Do you want to have the latest technology and best performance? Then, don't try to be the lowest cost.

Whatever you choose, start with a pain point first and solve that.

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