Product Development: Developing Strategies Based on Assumptions

To truly understand the customer experience, brands must consider their product development strategies. These strategies dictate how products will be designed, developed, and marketed to shape their value proposition.

The key to understanding your customers’ markets is having access to reliable market data. Fortunately, there are a number of sources of market data, including surveys, consumer panels, data aggregators, and industry analysts. Once you have access to market data, you need to analyze it to uncover trends and patterns. One way to do this is to segment the data by industry, product category, demographics, or other factors. This can help you identify which segments offer the greatest growth. Another way to analyze market data is to look for patterns in customer behavior.

You can’t develop products and services that meet your customers’ needs and expectations unless you understand their markets. By analyzing market data, you can gain a deep understanding of those markets and identify opportunities for growth and differentiation. Asking customers about their desired future can help companies create products and services that will be in demand. Additionally, by building customer scenarios, companies can create probable, plausible, and possible futures, giving them a better understanding of what their customers may want and need in the future.

Assumptions about customers and their needs: The better you understand them, the better you can meet their needs. Start by asking your customers about the challenges they face in their everyday lives. Assumptions about customers will be based on your research. This might include surveys, one-on-one interviews, focus groups, or other methods of collecting data. This information and the collected data can make assumptions about your customers’ needs.

Assumptions about competitors and their strategies: Understanding your competitors’ strategies is critical to creating a product strategy.

    • What do my competitors’ products and services offer to their customers?
    • How do they deliver value?
    • What are their strengths and weaknesses?

You can develop a clearer picture of your competitors’ strategies and how they might affect your business by answering these questions. Assumptions about competitors will be based on your research, industry trends, and competitor data.

Assumptions about suppliers and their capabilities: To succeed, companies must also work with partners and suppliers to help them create and deliver their products and services. This includes manufacturers and distributors, software developers, and AI providers. Assumptions about suppliers will be based on your research, supplier data, and/or interviews with suppliers.

Assumptions about operational capabilities: If your company is implementing a strategy that involves transitioning from one product to another, you must make assumptions about your operational capabilities. This includes your ability to make these transitions seamlessly and with limited customer disruption. Assumptions about operational capabilities will be based on your research, operating metrics, and industry trends.

Developing a product strategy based on these assumptions: To truly understand your customers, you need to use a market-based approach to create a product strategy. The key to this approach is to identify the problems your customers are trying to solve and then create new products or services that address those problems more effectively than your competitors. Assumptions about customers, competitors, suppliers, and operational capabilities will provide the foundation for developing a product strategy.

Conclusion: Marketing and product development are interrelated activities but should not be treated as one-off campaigns. Instead, they should be approached strategically, with a long-term vision and focus on satisfying customer needs. To create a successful product strategy, you must understand your customers’ markets and the assumptions that drive your product strategy. You can do this by asking yourself three key questions: Who are the customers for my products? What value do they receive from my products? What unmet needs do my products satisfy? By answering these questions to create a clear picture of your customers’ markets, you can develop a product strategy to position your company for growth and success.