Product features

In spite of the fact that marketers have known for years that customers buy products because they need them to do a specific job, they still continue to analyse customer needs in terms of product and customer categories.

by MIT Sloan Management Review
Last Updated: 23 Jul 2013

This is because there is a more easily identifiable source of customer data to analyse these categories. What is not widely recognised is that it may be less risky when developing new products to use more sophisticated investigative research skills to analyse why customers need something.

Auto companies that design elements to make a car more usable as a mobile office are responding to what customers need rather than resorting to a positioning paradigm in which customer segments are divided into two axes (in this case, product categories on one axis and the degree of luxury in the interior on the other).

A supplier of hospital beds added special features to its products when it discovered that nurses spent a lot of time picking up items that patients had dropped and dealing with their TV problems.

Finding the right job for your product
Clayton M Christensen, Scott D Anthony, Gerald Berstell and Denise
MIT Sloan Management Review, Spring 2007

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