For many product managers and entrepreneurs, developing new products or product features is their bread and butter. They’re constantly asking “How can we make our product better?”, “How can we solve this problem?”, and most importantly “How can we improve the lives of our customers?”. Discovering and developing the answer to these questions is critical piece of launching a new product or idea. Equally important is identifying if your solution fills an unmet need within the market.
Identifying needs in a marketplace can be time consuming and difficult, which can include:
- Surveying existing and potential brand customers
- Surveying the general consumer base
- Measuring innovation within the industry
- Measuring consumer satisfaction with existing consumers
Following the collection and analysis of this data, they can be mapped according the data attributes and assist in the identification of market opportunities. For entrepreneurial start-up and lean product groups resources are not always reserved for intense market studies.
Not to worry, there are ways to gain product and market insights. Positioning maps (although based in hard data analysis) can help place competitor and existing products against their common attribute. Common examples include:
Quality vs. Price
Performance vs. Innovation
Number of Features vs. Ease of Use
Using positioning maps at the start of a product develop process can help focus objectives and outcomes.