We know that innovation plays a key role in the success of today’s products, but the most important factor is desirability from our customers.
When Apple first launched the iPhone, they were dissatisfying a great proportion of mobile phone users who were desperately searching for their physical keyboard. Ken Kocienda – one of the principal software engineers on the team then – mentions in an interview that Apple understood that this innovation would entice customers only when they’d experience the real benefit out of it. Having the keyboard built in the software was essential as it wasn’t always visible; the whole screen could be taken up by an app. That is why when the App Store became available that the product really took off and the iPhone has been a huge success. Customers felt the gains of the innovation.
It is true, we – as customers – don’t always know what we want until it’s been presented to us; until we try it out and consume its benefits. So explicitly asking people ‘would you like that?’ will not get you as far as giving them something tangible. Create the experience that will show your customer the real gains of consuming your product. Involve them in the design process and test it with them as much and as early as possible.
If you are building highly innovative, possibly market-disrupting products make sure you take your users through the journey with you. There are tools and techniques to help you through that process – some of which can be found in our VFQ Foundations online course, part of our VFQ Product Management Course and VFQ Agile Practitioner Course.