We pour our heart and soul into our product business, but that can be a real problem. This causes the all-too-common ‘forest through the trees problem’ when it comes to doing right by our customers and ultimately our product.
If you’ve found yourself in one of these situations with your product business before then this content is for you.
- Your product is confusing to your prospective customers
- The response to your product demo is lackluster — you don’t get a lot of questions
- Customers often expect your product to cost less than it does
One of the biggest misconceptions (anti-pattern) about building product businesses, is that your product needs to be feature rich. The way the anti-pattern goes is that supposedly people believe if your product doesn’t slice the bread AND make the sandwich for you then people won’t buy it. Nothing could be further from the truth.
One of the biggest reasons that you will experience one of the problems mentioned above is because your product is too complicated. Most products are trying to be all things to all people. What these product companies don’t realize is that if you are all things to all people, then you are nothing to anyone.
Another problem with complexity, is that you are overwhelming your customer with choice. Initially you might think of this as a good thing. Who wouldn’t want lots of choices? In reality the answer is almost no one wants that. People ask for choice, but what they really want is for you to just give them the answer — one solution that works.
Take the mattress company Casper for example. When they launched they didn’t give you 500 mattresses to choose from (like your typical mattress store), they gave you one. One option — a single mattress that you could buy and it would be shipped to you immediately with a 100 day money back guarantee. They could not have made the process any simpler and because of it they took off like a rocketship.
The reason why your customer isn’t sure if your product applies to them is because they simply don’t need most of what your product does. That’s why your demos receive a flat response with little to no real questions at the end. You’ve overwhelmed them and the more you talk about all those combinations of functionality the easier it is to lose their interest in your product.
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Customers are repelled by complexity, they greatly prefer simplicity. Don’t build five features when one will do. Don’t try and solve five problems, solve one. You’ll be glad that you did.
So what can you do to get your overly complex product back on track?
Reduce the complexity of your product
If you don’t have analytics around the usage of your product — add it. Use them to better uncover what is being used and what isn’t. If a feature isn’t being used then rip it out of the product. Keep doing this until you break your product down into very specific (and simple) functionality that solves one problem — the biggest and most expensive one for your customer.
Do this and watch the response to your product change seemingly overnight.