Photo by eniko kis
Photo by eniko kis
Are you centering your product around your community?
With the emergence of the internet we now have access to a wide range of options when it comes to purchasing a product. We might choose an application based on its features, usability, or customer support, etc. There is no denying that these are important, but what really pulls us into a product is the community that surrounds it. Just look at Apple. Their die-hard fans are fanatics, and it’s not simply because they make a top-notch product but it’s the hype of the community - the feeling that we are apart of a movement. It almost mimics a political campaign. The buildup, the launch, and the eventual decline. The life cycle of a product is determined by how devoted its users are.
If we follow the adoption curve, we find that most of us follow a movement when we want to purchase a product. We search for reviews and other people’s input. We are moved by words, not data. The worth of a community is under-appreciated when it comes to a product’s success in the market. Yes, we have copywriters and advertisers to come up with fancy flashy slogans but without a base of people there is no backbone or trustworthiness to the adverts. They flash before our eyes like bad infomercials, but they don’t always work out like planned.
Just look at Microsoft when they released their next gen console, Xbox One. It flopped because they disregarded their player base. Instead of listening to their users, they implemented a bunch of control features that would limit the power of the player and their ability to manage their own games. They forced you to be online at all times, to buy and to play. You couldn’t even trade games.
In the end, Microsoft listened to the users and changed their battle plan to reflex the players wishes — it only took millions of comments on their Facebook page bashing them for their new “big brother”; policies before they would change. They made the mistake of listening to their marketers instead of their users.
You must play your cards right when building a product base. Appear sincere, intelligent and empathetic to your users. It’s like when you’re preparing for your first date. You want everything to go perfect, but you’re in unexplored territory. The same goes with a new product. You’re breaking into a new market, and although you might think you have the best product, the people will be the true judge.
As the product grows so will the base. Eventually you will reach the tipping point and the movement will form. You have to be patient, encourage growth and immerse yourself in what your product stands for. What are you offering that your competitors don’t?
At any given point you should ask your team this question: Are we forming a community, or are we pushing a product down people’s throats?
For teams who want to work better
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