Great products are those which are habit forming in the customer. Great product design is about figuring out how you can design the various aspects of the product such that over time, it will become a habit for the consumer.
What really makes a product great? It helps to understand what are the factors that make a product successful..
Overall, there are 3 broad aspects and ways by which a product starts connecting to the customer
A functional connection with a product for the consumer comes from functional benefits. Functional benefits in a product provide the consumer with functional value. Functional benefits can be something in a product that makes it more efficient, reliable, faster, cheaper, etc. Functional benefits can be very easy to communicate, easy for the customer to understand, and very easy to replicate. Therefore, functional benefits give you an entry but they rarely give you a sustained ability to survive in the market.
After the functional connect is when the sensorial aspects start taking over. Sensorial aspects are all about designing the interaction between the customer and the product. It’s about how the customer starts discovering various layers of the product. This is significant because self-discovery of various layers of the product begins to help the customer own the product.
For this, we can draw a parallel between the sensorial aspects of a product and gaming. For example, in a game, when you are stuck at a level, you will see that there are objects/stimuli that will urge you to discover new ways and once you discover the new way, you can find your way to the next level. This is exactly what sensorial interfaces are all about, it’s about designing interfaces in the product which allow customers to discover and when they discover, they open up new possibilities.
The hardest aspect to achieve in a product is the emotional connect via emotional benefits. An emotional connection builds over time gradually. The emotional benefits are all about consistency. So, if over time, the sensorial and functional aspects have been designed in a very consistent manner, then the customer starts discovering these aspects on their own every time a new product or a new product release comes from the brand to the customer. For example, even with closed eyes, they can figure out where the power button is, how to change the color of a banner, or how to get a report. Consistency is key here. The reason that becomes important is because you have essentially honored the fact that the customer has discovered those aspects, by maintaining that consistency for subsequent products and releases. Because it’s about consistency, it starts becoming a language. As we all know, the hardest habit to pick up as well as the habit which stays with us the longest is really a language.
It’s a combination of functional, sensorial, and emotional benefits – the triad of these – that actually create a great product and accordingly a great brand. And we at Innoviti are trying to do this.
Comment and let us know what you think truly makes a product great!