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Product 'Wow' Marketing

What are the key areas to focus on to deliver a ‘wow’ product experience that exceeds expectations?  Just as first impressions are so important when meeting new people, the first time product usage experience is critical in creating a successful product experience for customers.  To get a customer past the first experience, the product has to continue to be extremely usable; that is, it has to be very easy to learn and use. Finally, the product has to truly deliver the benefits that customers need and expect in order to solve their pain points and authentically engage customers for the long term. 

Three key Customer Experience elements drive Product Wow:

First time usage: Make a great first impression at start-up.

Product usability:  Design the product so it’s easy to learn and use.

Benefit delivery:  Deliver promised benefits that meet customers’ needs and expectations.

There’s nothing more powerful than a customer’s first impression when using a new product.  Making this first experience one that satisfies or even delights the customer reinforces their purchase decision and ensures that they will continue using the product.  Another key element for continued product usage is product usability.  Whether it’s a software program, new pair of jeans, or household cleaner, the product must be designed for easy and enjoyable usage.  The product also must deliver on the benefits that were promised in marketing materials so that customers are at least satisfied and hopefully delighted and authentically engaged for the long term.

In order to measure how well you are doing in these areas, it is essential to identify the metrics that matter most.  The metrics chosen will not only help to determine goals but will also be the yardstick by which success and progress is measured.  The metrics must measure something that is important to business results and can be measured accurately, consistently, and efficiently.  Some key Product Wow metrics include ease of use, satisfaction vs. expectations, and longitudinal usage patterns.

Product Wow is the #1 most important lever in the customer experience model.  The core customer research done to identify customer pain points and needs drives product development and marketing communications.   Development resources are often quite scarce so optimizing development resources is one goal of customer research work conducted along each step of the product development lifecycle.  New product ideas can be tested via concept research and other customer insight approaches.   Without Product Wow, Customer Acquisition efforts are a waste of time and money and Customer Retention efforts are futile.

About Suzanne Taylor

Suzanne Taylor is a marketing consultant who helps companies acquire more customers, create great products, and improve customer retention.  Her area of expertise is building businesses through customer driven innovation.  A member of Stanford University's faculty, she has taught seven marketing classes through Stanford Continuing Studies and holds Stanford AB and MBA degrees.  She co-authored a book titled Inside Intuit: How the Makers of Quicken Beat Microsoft and Revolutionized an Entire Industry published by Harvard Business School Press. She also instructs and serves on the Advisory Board for U.C. Extension in Silicon Valley's Marketing Certificate program, teaching marketing and executive education classes.

Taylor’s client list includes Intuit, Adobe, PayCycle, Yahoo!, Palm, Microsoft, and several high-tech startups.  Taylor worked for Intuit, Inc. for eight years in a variety of marketing roles including Quicken product manager, customer insight, and corporate marketing.  She also worked in brand management at the Clorox Company leading marketing efforts for Fresh Step cat litter and Formula 409 spray cleaner brands.  Taylor has led product teams through the full product development life cycle and has managed all elements of the marketing mix, both online and offline.  Symantec selected Inside Intuit for a company-wide management book club discussion.

© Copyright Suzanne Taylor 2010.  All rights reserved.  Contact: staylor@serrano.com