Do you know that when Apple officially released the iPhone 6 last September 19, 2014, thousands of people lined up outside Apple Stores across the United States in the hope of getting their hands on the new product?
Is Apple really more special than Samsung, HTC or LG? It’s just a smart phone. So what did Apple do to deserve such cult-like following? There are several answers. And I’m sure this is one of them: Apple (like many top brands) design products that people love.
As entrepreneurs, you know how important products are to the success of your business. Creating products that people buy is great, creating products that people LOVE builds a brand — there’s more to it than just saying “I’m going to build a great product”.
The Seven Characteristics of Great Products
Great products look simple on the outside but are very powerful on the inside. Below are 7 characteristics that make products great.
1. Fulfill one or more of the core human needs such as making money, learning, health, comfort and relaxation, etc.
2. Have a recurring need so you can enjoy recurring revenue.
3. Built to withstand wear and tear. They are made with the finest materials.
4. Can be easily cross-sold or up-sold so you can sell complimentary services or products.
5. Beautifully designed.
6. Very effective in achieving their purpose.
7. Have a memorable name (Google, Apple, Yahoo, Facebook).
How to Create Products that People Will Love
Great products aren’t made overnight. Here’s some helpful tips how to do it.
1. Focus on the User
Products that people love starts with empathy for the end user. As an entrepreneur, it is crucial that you put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers. How will your product solve their problems? Is your product convenient to use? Is it something that your customers will be proud of? I love what Diana Ransom at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum said about this:
“Try to think about users and how you could make their day better. It’s really not about the designer, it’s really about the user.”
2. Simplicity Matters
Great products are those that offer a simple connection between function and design. Overcomplicating your design will alienate your customers. And as a result, your product will not fare well in the market. Remember that the goal is to design products that people will love. To achieve product affection, you must invite them with a nonthreatening design and user-friendly functionality. As Jonathan Ive of Apple puts it:
“True simplicity is derived from so much more than just the absence of clutter and ornamentation. It’s about bringing order to complexity.”
3. Quality and Consistency Counts
Do you still remember the fist time you held an Apple product? How about the moment you stepped inside an Apple Store? Great products are not just made from the finest materials; they are also consistent.
4. Embrace Change
Creating products that people will love could mean letting go of the past ideals you’ve had in the past and embracing change. It means that you might have to start from scratch. For instance, in Apple nothing lasts forever. As an entrepreneur, you can’t be complacent.
5. Packaging Tells a Story
How many hours did you spend thinking about packaging? For most, this is the least of their worries. But if you want to create something that your customers will love, then it pays to make packaging design one of your top priorities. More than just protecting your product, your packaging showcases the story of your brand. Remember that it significantly drives consumer decisions. Don’t take it for granted.
Let me end with this quote from Gadi Amit:
“If you use design correctly, it will be the best return on investment.”