Responsible for leading Apple through countless product and industry innovations, Steve Jobs said,
“I don’t focus on the technology. I focus on what’s in it for the customer."
This article is going to sound like it's all about me, and well it is, but it's only because I happen to be your ideal mobility customer. I can give you some much-needed insight on what it is your customers see across your industry and your offering.
If you want to be innovative, you need to first know and then focus on what's in it for the customer. So, this article is ultimately about you better understanding your customer's perspective. I'll be sharing what you do not and possibly cannot see with how close you are to your current offering.
Here's my persona:
Location: Knoxville, TN USA
Income: Upper middle class
Family: Married with no kids
-Exploring cities (I'm a coffee shop hunter!)
-Trying out different restaurants
-Outdoor hobbies such as:
Trying new sports!
Does my persona match your ideal customer persona? If so, keep on reading. This article is for you.
If I squint my eyes at the mobility industry here's what I see:
Everything Looks The Same
On the trade show floor, I can't tell the difference between your product and your competitor's product. Other than details and specs I don't care much about, all of the products offer me pretty much the same experience. Yes, it is the experience that I am actually buying.
Novel Solutions Stand Out
The products that do stand out are radically different from everything else around them. They either look way different or solve a different problem.
Few Products Are Irresistible
The ones that are irresistible do all of these four things:
Solve a problem that is meaningful to me
Delights me when I use it
Is visually attractive to me
Are priced competitively with my current solution
Here's what I experience:
Products Are Frustrating To Use
Almost every mobility product I interact with misses the mark in one place or another. For example, my mountain bike has a removable front wheel. However, when I remove my wheel after each ride to load my bike in the truck, I have to set my bare fork ends on the gravely ground, compromising my beautiful paint job. Is this anal? Yes, but it's important to me. (and what an easy improvement opportunity!)
Only a handful of products offer me a near seamless experience when I interact with them. These are the ones that I buy.
Not A Perfect Fit? I'll Keep Shopping
If a product doesn't feel tailored to me (either physically or emotionally) I'll keep shopping until I find one that is. With the number of products begging for my attention, I have that luxury.
Here's what I value:
I Only Buy What Solves My Problems
More specifically, a problem that is meaningful to me. I'm self-centered like that.
I Care How The Product Looks
Yes, looks do matter to me. With so many options at my fingertips, why would I buy a product that doesn't make me look and feel good?
Beyond the image it gives off, I can tell about the product's quality by how it looks. I can tell if your product was cheaply made or if this is your first product to hit the market.
I'm Picky & highly critical
I do a ton of research before I even commit to seeing a product in person. I am an informed buyer and am not easily fooled or tricked. (Thank you, internet)
Because of this, I am highly critical of your product...Remember, I have more options than I can count. I have room to be choosy!
Is there anything I left out that you'd like to know about your ideal customer? Please ask away!
Now that you've taken a gander from your ideal customer's viewpoint, I’ll leave you with a few questions to ponder:
Does your product solve a novel, meaningful problem for your customer?
Are you prioritizing your efforts around what's in it for the customer?
Are you investing your time, focus, and resources anywhere that doesn't bring your customer value?
Are you leaving any opportunities for standing out from the competition on the table?