Ensure your product meets audience’s needs

1. Conduct research to examine customer needs. Use methods like surveys, focus groups, and customer interviews.

If you need quick responses and have a younger customer base, a five-question online survey is a great starting point. If your base is older, they may be more responsive to telephone interviews. With either method, ask customers what they like about the product, what they like about the website or platform, and what they think would improve product purchase and customer or technical support.

2. Perform competitive research to understand differences in the market and your audience's reception to competitors' products, advertising.

For example, if your competitor never has sales on products and customers keep inquiring in social media post comments about the high cost of the product, you may be able to draw in new customers with introductory sales and discounts. Read competitors’ product reviews to understand what customers loved and how your competitors fell short of meeting customer needs.

3. Analyze your research data using a SWOT analysis to understand your product's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats relative to the market.

For example, 20 years ago, most single-use cups were made from Styrofoam. Now, current generations acknowledge the harmful impact that this material and its production have on the environment, so you will find single-use cups made out of recycled paper or other more sustainable options. Similarly, your data may reveal that customers may take issue with the materials of your products or have criticism for production methods or factory locations. Take criticism as an opportunity to reevaluate product materials and methods to focus on the environment and sustainable practices.

4. Develop features to fill gaps your competitors have not answered.

Some areas to consider are: Price: offers good value for what they pay. Features: features must solve their problems reliably. Effectiveness: product should make their lives easier. Empathy: makes customers feel valued. Clarity: policy and product reports should be transparent and accessible. Information: provide knowledge bases to serve through the entire lifecycle of the product.

5. Create regular feedback loops with your customers.

Encourage customers to leave honest reviews of your products, and actively engage with reviews in a positive manner. Use your brand’s social media and email list to engage with fans, conduct surveys, solicit user testing candidates and more.