This is the first step; you need to have a BASIC product. At this stage this product will have some features and benefits that appeal your primary customer segment. Talking about customers, to have shorter period to achieve critical mass, my advice is to develop market driven product. Look at your customers and think of what product they need, want and demand.
To start with you can have a long list what type of benefits that you want to have for your final product. You can ask the 5W 1H questions to guide you. Actually I cover this extensively in my S6PEC Marketing Book. You can also view the e-book at the bottom of this post, in slides form.
You can do this study by looking at the market. What is the gap you currently see that you think you can fill up and that will satisfy other group of customers. You probably have your personal experiences where product that “could be better” if features a+f+v are included. When you see yourself as customers, you definitely can come up with something basic enough to satisfy some people. The key with BASIC product is it shouldn’t take too long to go to market. You probably should intensely spend maximum 4-6 months for your BASIC product, anything more is too long.
For example you can see how Apple came up with series of iPods and iPhones. They first came up with basic products and make sure it meets minimum customers requirements. While during that time the mobile phone or smart phone market already took off, Apple still can afford to drop some key features in their basic product. As a result if you were Apple customers back then, you probably noticed that Apple purposely exclude some usability features such as advanced search, connectivity with other phone models, faster processor and higher pixels for camera, among others. Of course, their reasoning was they couldn’t find suitable materials that fit their smart phone design and platform.
Another example would be AirAsia when they launched the business more than 10 years ago. The plane is nothing like MAS or Tiger Airways. But their basic product with minimum customers requirements were met. They have a few planes and most importantly AirAsia’s ticket is cheap! Moreover, their paperless ticketing model by using internet i.e. technology proved to have cut down business cost tremendously. They also allow meals opt out because some travellers only travelling for 1 hour and doesn’t mind the meals at all. As a result, the cost pass to the customers is so much lower. AirAsia has used the BASIC stage for a number of years until recent years they changed.
With that, we are going to the next level. After you have comfortable and stable BASIC product, you go the next stage; INNOVATE.
I will explain the remaining steps in my next post.
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