Show me a product manager who touts the importance of talking to customers and I’ll show you a handful who find it challenging to maintain such habit.
Direct customer engagement is the best way to develop product judgement in order to make the right product decisions.
The argument that “Steve Jobs didn’t ask what customers want because customers don’t always know what they want” is faulty. The purpose of talking to customers is not to find out what they want, but to understand life through their lens. …
How did you discover your last favorite product? From an ad, or from seeing it frequently surface in your social circle?
Did you then rave about it to others and make them suspect you’re making commission from luring new users?
The best products of the moment enjoy a cult following. Users are fans who advocate for them at every opportunity. The technical term for this phenomenon may be product market fit, but the real sprinkle of magic is “product essence”.
Products have an essence to them, a purpose for which they were made. …
When Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, Apple was bleeding money and sales was plummeting. There were many product lines and different versions of the same products made to meet different customer needs. One of the first things Steve did was to simplify the product line — cutting it by 70%. He mapped a simple 2x2 that outlined 4 products for Apple to focus on. Needless to say what happened to Apple afterwards 📈.
That was an extreme case of modular productization. But, the principle of this practice can benefit most scaling companies today.
It’s the practice of standardizing…
There’s a Chinese proverb that captures the wasted effort of communicating with someone who cannot or is not willing to understand. It is, in other words, like “playing music to the cow” (It turns out that cows do enjoy music but that’s besides the point). This is a still common mental trap that people fall into when planning go to market for their product. They get FOMO about reaching as many people as possible, so they cast a wide net. This results in wasted efforts and resources.
Understanding unique psychographic profiles of the audience allows product marketers to zero in…
If you like horror movies, you’ve probably seen some of Blumhouse productions’ work: Get Out, Split, Whiplash, just to name a few.
Jason Blum, the successful producer and creator of Blumhouse productions, made a name for himself for making low budget movies that consistently generate outsized returns. In the last five years, Blumhouse produced 10 out of top 25 most profitable films worldwide.
It seems that Blum had figured out a formula for making consistently profitable movies. In short: make it cheap, make lots of it, and make it different.
Blum caps the production budget at $5 million. He has…
It involves a plastic waterproof phone case and a rubber band.
This happened when we were in downtown Cancun, Mexico, booking an snorkelling tour. After we completed the booking, our enthusiastic tour guide asked if we might want to purchase a waterproof phone case, we can take underwater photos during the trip.
You mean, $30 for this case that’ll allow me to take my own photos the way I want, vs. …
The field of behavioural economics has been rising in influence across many industries, including health care. Rightfully so, as understanding how we make irrational decisions has everything to do with our health and wellbeing, and risk of future disease. While many BE principles have been adopted in health programs to drive healthy behaviour, one less explored concept might help us think about willingness to pay for direct to consumer health products: mental accounting.
Coined by Richard Thaler, mental accounting describes the irrational behaviour of treating your money differently as you mentally categorize money based on its source or intent. For…
There’s a notion that product sensibility or intuition is an intangible, binary quality. I think that’s half true. And whether one is born with such talent, one can actively develop an informed intuition with the right exposure.
If you listen to podcasts like “How I built this” or read interviews of successful entrepreneurs, you’ll find a pattern in how these founders discovered their eureka moments.
Health tech, wellness, and retail. These were the top 3 industries that most frequently populated my inbox and newsfeeds in 2018. They also happen to represent the three most important aspects of our lives: the way we manage our health, better our lifestyle, and spend our money. Ultimately, consumer power drives these shifts, as the ones who win are ones who can provide consumers social utility, integrate in their lives across channels, and represent their better self.
More and more consumers find themselves reaching for niche brands for almost every product category in their daily lives. What happened? It turns out that people are developing very particular taste for things that solve their very particular needs. Traditional CPG incumbents are challenged with evolving effectively to meet consumer’s changing needs, and are threatened by tech giants (Amazon, Google) that rein significant control over customer relationships.
Craft brands, ie. direct to consumer niche brands, are gaining accelerated momentum because they’re great at “selling the hole and not the drill” — such that it make consumers feel like the product…