2 simple steps to build products that people will love

Most products fail because we waste needless time, money, and effort building the wrong product — something nobody wants.

We need to embrace the fact that customers are significantly different than ever before. Today, products are delivered via the internet, what has led to a dramatic shift in how people consume, demand, and interact with products. The challenge companies face today is to deliver personalized, valuable, and immediate experiences.

The old "one size fits all" mentality doesn’t work in future, where companies develop and market products based on market segmentation and demographics. The assumption that products, features and marketing will meet the needs of all people within that demographic is obsolete.

Use Persona build empathy with your customer

Personas are fictional characters that contain insights from your customer research. They represent one customer type that is interested in your products, services or brand. This archetypes of people incorporate customer goals, problems (often called "Pain Points") behaviors and interests. These help teams and decision makers to think from a customer perspective and add a human touch – in contrary to the traditional internal perspective. Additionally, they allow you to understand patterns in from your research, what is synthesized in archetypes of people you seek to do something for. Personas are also known as model characters or composite characters.
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Value of using Personas

Personas are a great way to visualize what you currently know about customer needs and behaviors. In a rapidly changing world, it’s the only way to ensure you build what customers want is to engage them continuously. Personas are the best way to control the changing needs of your customers.

Create and update Personas when:

  • You receive a product, feature or service request of customer –
  • To agree no your product planning to prioritize feature based on the Persona value
  • Teams with different roles collaborate to create products or value for the customer
  • Your teams need to be aligned to share the same customer understanding

Personas in the Design Thinking process

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The risk of product-failure in our fast evolving world can be reduced with a continuous engagement of your customers. Customer research provides teams and organization with the required insights and confidence to ideate and develops the right products. All innovation and product development activities need to have a clear purpose to create value for your customers and to solve his problems. A persona represents exactly this "voice of your customer".

Personas are normally created during the second phase of the Design Thinking process – the Define phase. Design Thinkers synthesize their findings and insights from the customer research. Very often teams also start to create Proto-personas which are based secondary research. Secondary research, like competitor or market analyis, allows quick insights for the first draft of your Persona. Using personas is just one method, among others, that can help designers and development teams to define the customer problem statement. This so-called Point-of-View (PoV) is a guiding statement that focusses on specific users, and insights and needs that you have uncovered during the customer research. You can articulate your POV by framing the information about your customer (Persona), the needs or problems and the insights in the following sequence:
POV
The PoV defines the RIGHT challenge to address during the next Design Thinking process step, which is the Ideation phase.

Get feedback from all your customer touchpoints in one place

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Many organization oversees the real value of their data generated by customers. There are dozens of "Voice-of-customer" solutionswith customers, like support systems, survey tools, app reviews, sales tools, NPS services, internal tools and many more. It’s relevant to get all your data in one place to uncover what your customers are saying and requesting. Personas are fictional characters but they represent your existing and living customers, that’s why its necessary to update these archetypes with your frequently gained insights.

Customer feedback via social media or product review sites like Amazon can horribly damage brand reputations. It is so important to** consider every touchpoint with your customer.** In our fast-changing world one of the main goals of the organization, today is to have an up-to-date understanding of all your customer groups to ensure continuous innovation. Create Personas during your customer research and update them, whenever your customer leave relevant insights with problems or needs.

Beside of creating Personas, Pyoneer allows you to connect your "Voice-of-Customer" tools to get all your relevant customer feedback from customer research, sales, marketing and service in one place. With the centralized data, you can very easily select and add the insights to your Personas, that your teams will always be provided with the required customer information. This enables teams an instant view of customer problems and needs, to be equipped with required information to come up with better products that deliver real customer value.

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Pyoneer is a SaaS solution for Design Thinking and Lean Innovation. It helps teams to do understand customer needs and problems to develop innovative solutions that deliver real customer value

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What do you think about Personas? How do you control your “Voice-of-Customer” data? Leave a comment and help me to share this story! Give it a ❤ if you liked it 🐠

Is there a simple way to innovation and successful products? No, of course, it’s not! If it would exist,

In Fact, most products fail. Not because we fail to build what we set out to build, but because we waste needless time, money, and effort building the wrong product — something nobody wants.

But what is the secret of good and bad innovation? How do innovative multibillion-dollar companies differentiate from others?

homer-car-design
The Homer Car. A car developed for a single person — Himself

Successful product development has fundamentally changed

When Apple released the iPhone in 2007, Nokia still had about 50% market share in the mobile phone market. Although they were releasing continuously good phones, they lost their market dominance within just 3-4 years. The big problem was not, that Apple just had a great product that worked well – It was the constant belief of Nokia and it’s management to think that they know what people want. With the release of the iPhone Apple achieved to redefine the way people use phones – what led also to a total change of their behaviors and expectation to mobile phones. Nokia failed in listening to what their target customers wanted.

The story of Nokia is just one example that shows that shows with the fast evolution of technology also peoples expectations and experiences with products are changing. This is because customers today have more choices than ever before. With the rising demand for smartphones and mobile apps, Nokia had enough chances to build a product their customers want and an app-ecosystem that could compete with Apple. But they didn’t – what opened the opportunity for many other competitors like Samsung. Today people have full access to product information, online shops or price comparison sites. As products have gone from being delivered in a box to being delivered over the Internet, there’s been a dramatic shift in how customers consume, demand, and interact with products.

In the old world, failing to deliver what customers wanted, led to product failure. In the new world, repeatedly failing to deliver what customers want leads to total business model failure.

If one company doesn’t get the job done, customer simple switch to something else.

The challenge today isn’t building good products, but uncovering how well products solve customer problems or meet their needs. Today’s consumers are demanding more from companies. Customers expect products, services, and information that are timely and catered to their specific needs and desires. Traditionally, companies develop and market products based on market segmentation and demographics, assuming that the features and functionality will meet the needs of all of the customers in that demographic. This "one size fits all" mentality doesn’t work anymore today. We need to embrace the fact that customers are different now, significantly more so than previous generations.

Understand who your customer is

Personas are a good way to accurately identify customers needs and desires. However, as the marketplace shifts from a mass manufacturing to a mass customization model, customers needs and desires are more accurately identified through the development of personas rather than through demographic data.

A persona represents a cluster of users who exhibit similar behavioral patterns in their purchasing decisions, use of technology or products, customer service preferences, lifestyle choices, and the like. Behaviors, attitudes, and motivations are common to a "type" regardless of age, gender, education, and other typical demographics.

Deliver a great experience

Product innovation and new technology in mobile, social, and artificial intelligence allow delivering a more personalized, valuable, and immediate experiences for consumers. Customers have more choices than ever. As a result, they grow to expect this superior experience from any business they engage with.

Expectations and behaviors have totally changed. The gap between customers’ expectations and products or services they receive is getting bigger more and more. Amazon’s product recommendation “what customers who looked at this item also bought.” is a significant element of their success. Today’s e-commerce shops have to mess with this new level of online shopping experience because customers just expect this service from now on. If you want to order a taxi or book an apartment, customers will always compare the booking experience with Uber or Airbnb.

Although companies have long declared their intention to get close to their customers, the digital age is forcing them to actually do it.

The good news is that getting closer to your customers can help to reduce the risk of product failure. Practices like Design Thinking and Lean Startup involve customers even before product releases, as test and experiments are a cornerstone of innovation projects. Instead of guessing what products and features are wanted by the market, companies can adjust product and features with direct input from end users before launching it. These process not only help to de-risk product development, it also tightens the relationship between companies and their customers. Additionally, it often provides valuable information and insights about how customers think and use the products which are being developed.

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