- Product or service description (what will it do or what is its function?). What type of customer or customer segment(s) are you targeting?
- What is the meaning(s) behind the product or service?
Potential meanings: The product or service provides physical, health, religious, and emotional sustenance; provides feelings of being needed or being listened to; supports artistic and creative needs; facilitates control over the environment; provides entertainment; supports feelings of status, superiority, and elitism; provides a sense of stewardship; supports feelings of closeness to the earth and being organic; provides a sense of altruism; supports feelings of adventure; supports gender needs; supports feelings of security and comfort; facilitates and assists in the completion of some work or home task; provides feelings of familial support; helps an individual or a community to learn and adapt; helps us to change location; provides an opportunity for communication and networking; has above-average intrinsic value to some or many people; provides for respect and recognition; and finally, the product or service is a source of satisfaction, happiness, and hope.
- Identify potential product and service attributes, features, and functions. Here are some ideas for the attributes, features, and functions:
Price: How much does it cost?
Quality: How well does the product or service conform to the product specifications? Does the product do what it says it is supposed to do in the user manual? Is it effective in performing its function?
Reliability: Does the product or service perform as it is supposed to over its expected life? Is it prone to failure? Is it easily maintained?
Ease-of-use: Is the product or service easy to use and can consumers learn to use it without much trouble?
Performance: Is the product or service faster, smaller, more convenient, greater capacity, better resolution, compatible, and adaptable? Which features, functions, and processes are unique or distinguishing?
Design: Is the external form attractive? Is it visually, tactically, audibly, and olfactory attractive? Is the product packaged properly? Is the service experience attractive and positive from the consumer’s perspective? Does the product or service suggest a certain meaning?
Technology: Is there an emerging technology or a process that can improve quality, reliability, ease-of-use, performance, value, design, and meaning?
Value creation: Is there any intrinsic value in the product that distinguishes it from other products or services? Does it solve a problem that consumers want to solve and will attract them to the product or service?
- List the key attributes, features, and functions that will be focused on and, in particular, those that reinforce or detract from the meaning. Attribute can be in more than one category. Attributes can refer to the product you are planning to introduce and to existing products,
Points of parity and must-haves (POPS): List the attributes, features, and functions that most of the products or services in a category usually have.
Points of difference and differentiators (PODs): List the attributes, features, and functions of a product that distinguish it from the competition. This typically refers to a product or service that you are developing.
Blue Ocean features and exciters (BOFs): List the sunrise attributes, features, and functions that could be used to develop a new Blue Ocean market.
Extinct and vestigial features (EXTs): List the sunset attributes, features, and functions that are no longer necessary or on the verge of becoming extinct for the product or service. This typically refers to products and services that are already being sold.
Dissatisfiers (DISs): List the attributes, features, and functions that can cause some consumers to avoid using your product or your competitor’s product. This typically refers to products and services that are already being sold.