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Designing A Product That Stands Out: Part 1

laura product Jun 11, 2024
Mural Product Design Board

Follow this guide to design a product that gets your ideal client - and you - excited.

Do you know what you're selling? What is your product and what makes it special?

Product is the thing that you are offering for sale. If you’re like me, the word product equals a tech product. But way before many of us associated Product with tech, product has always been the term that refers to the thing you are selling; that’s how we are using it here.

If you’re like most of our clients, you are highly skilled at your craft. You’re an amazing artist or engineer or barista or storyteller or finance wiz (you get the idea). But, you’re here because you’re not sure how to create a customer-centric product or how to market it, or how to close the sale.

If this is you, let’s start with developing a high-value product for your ideal client. The product development process for us is finding that sweet spot of an offering that adds a lot of value to the client in a way that is relatively (over time) easy for you to do.

 

This is Part 1 where we outline how your product can solve your client’s problem. Part 2 is about mapping it to decide what you are actually going to offer.

 

The product development process isn’t rocket science but it does require understanding the ecosystem around your ideal client and what they are trying to achieve. Like many things, there are professions and degrees devoted entirely to subsets of the product development process. Maybe in a few years you'll need to further refine and you’ll need that level of product development. We often take 2 - 3 sessions with our clients to get to the place where we have a clear Product. For now, you don't need all that. All you need is a few hours and a process.

Sarah and I want to note that we didn’t invent this process. It comes from concepts made popular by places like Stanford University and Human Centered Design and, more recently, people like Alex Hormozi, and validated from our own experience designing products and starting businesses.

 

Let's Go!

Here I’ve outlined as clearly as I can the process we have used and use with our clients. 

First, grab a bunch of post-it notes, a google doc or this mural doc. Start with 20 - 30 min and see how far you get. You can do it all at once, or step by step with as many breaks as you need.

Step One: Define your Ideal Client. You may ultimately have a few ideal clients, but for the sake of the exercise - and for the sake of business clarity - pick one to start. 

**blog post on your ideal client coming soon.

Step Two: Define the Dream Outcome for that ideal client. What is the one key thing that the client wants to achieve that your product can help them achieve?

Step Three: List all the Actions your ideal client needs to take to achieve the dream outcome.

Step Four: For each Action, list all the Challenges your client faces in doing the action.

Step Five: For each Challenge, list all the Solutions to that challenge. Those solutions are the bones are your product. 

 

 

Here’s a simple example:

STEP ONE - IDEAL CLIENT: Mid-life adult who is bored with their running and has plateaued.

 

STEP TWO - DREAM OUTCOME: To get a PR in their next race.  To fall back in love with running.

**Here I started with getting a personal record in their next race. I realized though, through interviews and getting to know my client, that a PR isn’t really the end goal. For my ideal client, the one who is bored and not seeing the success they want, I know that actually they don’t care if they PR or not. It would be nice and it’s a good goal. But what they really want is to fall back in love with exercise, and in this case, running.

 

STEP THREE - ACTIONS: What are all the actions my ideal client needs to do to fall back in love with running? 

  1. Find a workout plan that they like. 
  2. Follow it consistently. 
  3. Have the right gear or place to do the workout.
  4. Have the motivation to show up. 
  5. Feel good about their fitness level.

 

STEP FOUR - CHALLENGES: What are all the challenges my ideal client faces when taking these actions? I’ll show the first one here.

Action: Find a workout plan that they like.

  1. Challenge: Good training plans are too expensive.
  2. Challenge: Plans don’t have the variety that they are looking for.
  3. Challenge: Plans don’t meet their specific needs (number of days available, etc…)

**continue with other actions

 

STEP FIVE - SOLUTIONS: What solutions can your product have that addresses these challenges? During your brainstorming session, don’t limit yourself. Have some ‘sky’s the limit’ options and some ‘very low budget’ options.

Challenge 1: Plans don’t have the variety that they are looking for. 

  1. Solution (€€€): Coach designed plan that can be adapted week by week with the coach.
  2. Solution (€): Filter for the number of desired cross training, strength and running days.  
  3. Solution (€): Every week a random assignment of plans, based on set preferences and fitness status. 

**continue with other Solutions.

You made it! Take a break there. Watch out for Part 2 to see how you can then use all this information to develop a high value and easy(ish) to implement product. 

Are you stuck? Want to share what you have so far? Book a Free session with Laura & Sarah to work through it.

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