The idea is an age-old adage. ”This doo-hickey practically sells itself!” It’s a constant refrain of QVC and late-night infomercials.
There is plenty of wisdom contained within that statement both on the product development and marketing ends of the business spectrum.
When you are building a product or service package, you should be striving to build something that actually solves a problem or fulfills a need/want. You should aim for convenience of use and ignore the whiz-bang gadgetry that only creates complications. Why did Angry Birds sell so well? It’s super-easy to use and people get it to satisfy their gaming/entertainment need (which I believe qualifies as a want in comparison to food and water, but is a need in the eyes of many consumers).
Crafting your goods and services around the principalities of simplicity and ease-of-use often means stripping away some nonsense. It’s all too easy to add on things until your creation resembles a swiss army knife. It is much more difficult to trim back on features. You want to appeal to a wide base of needs and wants with one product rather than going through the process of creating one product for each need and want. Fight this urge!
Doing one thing really well will keep customers coming back and build greater consumer loyalty. It’s why Apple has been so successful – complain all you want about them, but you can’t ignore the great business lessons.
Additionally, your marketing team will love you for thinking like this in the development stages.
The selling points will be built right into the product. The salespeople should be able to list what your product/service does and why it is does it better than anything else. This streamlined message sounds a lot better than, “Oh yeah! And it also…and it also…and it also…” They don’t want to spend all their time selling the ancillary features. They should be able to put on a nice, simple demonstration and hand off a fully functioning product with minimal hassle to the consumer.
After all, “cool” can be reflected in how awesome your primary functionality is, rather than the neat-o add-on that lights up and makes noise.
Design is so important and so often ignored, which is a shame. It’s a tool you can use from the very beginning of creating your product and it will benefit you long into the future.
So, before you prep a new product to launch, ask yourself and your team the following questions:
- Does this product/service solve a problem?
- Does it solve the problem in the most efficient way possible?
- Can I get rid of any unnecessary or underperforming features?
- Am I proud of the quality of this and would I buy it?
- Does the design (not just the look) sell the product almost on its own?