Have you ever wondered how does the process of creating a product look like? Unfortunately, having an astonishing idea is not enough to make a new product successful, it should also be fitted to the market as well as the business.
The beauty of a new product is how it develops to be a perfect result of two main voices: the customer and the business. These two sides engage each other because they possess value for each other, but the heart of complexity of their interaction are the modifications and attunements they make. Their voices must come together to find a common interest, but through meaningful interactions, they communicate the essentials needed to meet their requirements and produce their every need and necessity.
Voice of the Customer (VOC)
The Voice of the Customer (VOC) represents needs (both expressed and unexpressed) of those who will be using your product. We need to ensure our target customers’ needs are being answered by identifying what would bring the customer to buy our solution and make it our primary goal.
Always keep in mind that the expressed needs may be far away from the real solution. For example, nobody ever asked to have telephone built into a washing machine but having a remote control of their house appliances had an appeal to the customers.
When creating a new product, customers’ needs, wants, and desires put high demands on businesses. Customers’ needs are the most basic expectations of what customers demand or what they are willing to purchase. Wants include the details and the specific features of the product they desire. Desires represent the added value we would like to have but are not willing to invest into. If it’s not clearly defined what is included in the final solution, it may generate frustration and undermine the customer satisfaction. This is why it’s important to discuss the expectations at the start of the project.
Depending on the business and the communication between the two players, these needs, wants and desires can be more malleable or more rigid. But business is only created through a balanced interplay of the demands of customers mixed with the supply company is willing to offer.
Voice of the Business (VOB)
The Voice of the Business (VOB) will tell you how profitable your product is. It consists of the point of view of the people who run the business itself, like shareholders, officers, or others involved in corporate governance.
Businesses are the result of profitable ideas. Without ideas, there would not be profits, and without profits, current ideas would never be turned into reality and generate newer, better ideas.
Back to our example, adding wifi to a household appliance would have been possible, but too complicated and expensive 20 years ago. It would have addressed a small market niche since most customers wouldn’t have accepted the costs.
VOB should keep in consideration financial and market data analysis, competition analysis as well as practical, internal ones like what will be the impact on our business model and if we’re able to support the product. In short, it will define the possible KPI as well as the expected ROI.
Creating a Product
By understanding the needs of your customer, you are defining the business potential. This means that you will be providing your customers with something they want and are ready to pay for and still be able to conduct a profitable and sustainable business.
Creating a product and turning it into a success is no easy task, but knowing how VOC and VOB influence it is crucial. The exchange between customers and businesses reconciles customers’ needs, wants and desires with companies’ need to generate profit, creating a perfect solution. This process helps to identify and prioritise wanted improvements on existing products, achieve strategic goals and objectives and helps to set the course for future investments.