I’d venture to say that most products and services are bloated with features that customers most likely don’t care for; I’ve been part of product development teams where the focus is on features, with an implicit goal to stuffing as many features as possible — in consumer packaged goods and in software. This is the wrong approach to developing memorable and sticky products.
The above statement might be best described by Kathy Sierra’s Featuritis Curve:
In my own personal venture in product and package design (a side project), I employ ethnography — the science of watching people do stuff; of learning about unarticulated customer needs, which is otherwise known as ethnography; Toyota calls it Genchi Genbutsu.
A.G. Lafley, the CEO of Procter and Gamble, understands this well:
JANUARY 28, 2005, Business Week
I wanted to get after what we call unarticulated consumer needs. What she wants that she can’t tell us about. And there are lots of techniques we have developed or are developing to do that. And two, I wanted to focus more on the consumer experiences as much as on the product and technology.
People remember experiences. They don’t remember attributes or benefits or features. We talk a lot about how you create a delightful experience. Now, when you’re dealing with underarm deodorants and cleaning dirty floors, you have to work real hard to try and deliver a less unpleasant experience.
The key phrase here is this:
People remember experiences. They don’t remember attributes or benefits or features.
What a simple, yet profound statement that still many, many companies fail to understand.