I don’t know if it is a coincidence but I have been meeting many clients recently who are stuck with the same issue. “We think we are doing such a great job and sometimes the results do not match our aspirations”
Your design, R&D, marketing, and/or your advertising teams are definitely the best in their field. However, being the best often comes with a heavy piece of baggage; an conviction that you always know best. The threat in this situation, is you risk becoming too opinionated, too biased that you create a bubble that separates you from your target consumer. Yes, that one that makes you earn a living.
So how about we put aside that we are all experts and talk about some basic ideas. Put aside all your professional jargon, terms and i’ll even leave much of the technical vocabulary out of this message and say it in layman’s terms.
You might have the best of products that is capable of doing what the consumer needs and beyond. However, sometimes we get much ahead of ourselves in the technicalities and including features and options that the whole thing becomes too complicated for the basic consumer. Your engineering team will be priding themselves and thinking they gave the user everything, while the consumer would not have the ability to reach half of it. Your product would then be the best out there, but would be perceived to be the total opposite. So before you get ahead of yourself, why not involve the consumer. Yes, the engineering team might think they’re ignorant but that’s sometimes the whole point!
I hate to bring up the cliche Apple example, but the most impressive thing about their products is the user experience that makes even the least Savvy of consumers get what they need. When Apple rolled out, I had an incredible Nokia E7 which i still believe is the best phone I ever had. I could multitask working on spreadsheets, and had navigation that is better than Google’s (in my opinion) while listening to my music. But I’m a geek; the regular consumer isn’t. And that’s why Apple is the one surviving and my favorite phone ever is out of production.
So, the bottom line. You could be the best engineer, best marketeer, and have a product that is completely superior – yet if you are not putting your consumer in the heart of what your product’s design. Then someone with a much less superior product can just pull the carpet from underneath your feet. Listen to your consumer even if you know much better.
This article is actually inspired by a social media back and forth taking place on my news feed. Two competing brands have just rolled out a very interesting campaign each. The contrast in comments by the “professionals” on each side are truly very insightful for the observer. But i’ll write about that in my next article.
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