Product Design (Digital)
Technology, Information and Media
Article

Discovery: A key cog in the product development process?

by
Sienna Payton
August 29, 2022
3
min(s)
Imagine if you were a human. Wait, did we just ask you to ‘imagine if you were a human’ 🤦

That’s on us, so let's start this from the top.

Imagine if you were a vampire, werewolf, dragon, unicorn, mermaid, leprechaun, or even Nessie, the Loch Ness monster. Would you rather shop digitally or go the old-school way?

Okay, fiiiiine, we’ll stop this fun/tedious charade (dealer’s choice), and get to the point. 

Digital purchases are on the rise!

Are you wondering how we came to such a declaration?

Well, a whopping 86% of buyers (humans, not mythical creatures) prefer social media, metaverse, and virtual purchases over face-to-face sales. That’s how 😛

The convenience and efficiency make them attractive to customers since they can acquire items instantly, albeit in a virtual space. To keep up with the cutthroat competition, brands are aggressively expanding their product and service lines in the form of digital products such as online courses, software solutions, and graphic design templates. With this increased cutthroat competition, brands are having to come up with unique methods to make their digital products stand out and attract consumers. 

So, the big question here is how can brands do that? And only one answer comes to mind—the product discovery process

Introduction to the product discovery process

The product discovery process is a phase wherein research is conducted to collate and collect detailed insights and information that would be used for creating digital products. This phase helps brands develop products that are essential, and not just nice to have. 

 In this phase, a product’s usability is ascertained and how consumers would perceive it. Some key aspects of the product discovery process include determining the final objective, setting the target audience, product functionality, and UX/UI design. 

The research conducted in this phase is also vital for determining how to make the product stand out from the competition and whether the market is ready for such a product. 

Importance of the product discovery process

Ensures product launch success and reduces risk

How much do companies spend on R&D? Well, according to Inc Magazine, it's estimated at 23% of a company’s budget. But, depending on the outcome of a product, this expenditure could prove to be highly successful or a waste of money. 

For example, Quibi was a mobile-focused streaming service launched in 2018. However, it was a massive failure, and the company was dissolved in 2020. Such instances can be avoided with a comprehensive and detailed product discovery process.

Keeps digital development on track

This product discovery process provides insights to companies about how their products can add value to consumers. Research methods such as journey maps and user analysis act as guides in the product development phase. They can also be used during the development process to ensure the product features add value to consumers and are synced with the company objectives. This helps reduce hesitancy towards implementing the product discovery process while keeping the digital development on track for success. 

How to create a successful product discovery process

Several key aspects must be carried out to ensure a successful discovery process. The first of them is to pay close attention to market trends. This helps the company understand what digital services are in demand, which markets to consider, and how to enter said markets successfully. 

Some of these market trends include data analytics and social media. Observing what people are sharing online and examining posts with high engagement gives an idea about the ongoing trends. You can also conduct polls on social media to understand consumers’ preferences and tastes. You could also shadow the social media platforms of digital product companies like Netflix, Canva, and Salesforce to get an insight into the latest trends. 

Secondly, data gathered from consumers’ habits can also help anticipate trends. For example, previous purchases can give an insight into what consumers might purchase next. The best tool to carry this out is Google Analytics. It provides you with customer behavior analysis, which can be used to understand how consumers respond to your products and what products they gravitate towards the most.

Apart from market trends and data, you should regularly conduct competitor analysis to stay above them. For instance, in the online education space, Udemy has the edge over Coursera since it gives more importance to skill development rather than accredited programs. And that's precisely the reason why consumers opt for Udemy over Coursera. 

This shows how valuable the product discovery process can be in your armor if used correctly, and we can help you pull it off with our award-winning team.

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