I just happened to watch a beautiful movie called P.S. I Love you and was quite amazed by it
Never for a minute thought it to be so beautiful and emotional about love .
What really struck me in the movie was a particular scene , where Daniel asks “What do women want ?” and Hillary Swank replies “This is a sacred secret. Here it goes –
We have no idea what we want.”
It’s not only true for every women in the planet , but for every consumer. Until you give them something to try out and experience it , they may never be able to exactly articulate what they need.
So how does focus group discussions help ? They help in extracting cues.To identify the gap between their needs and the currently available product. It does not necessarily translate to what exactly they need in a product.
For example , When you ask them what do u need in a new food product to be launched , they might reply good quality , cheap , healthy ingredients , etc
But ultimately the only food they end up buying is the tastier one or the one which has a better packaging design and looks good.
Therefore building a product based on a consumers choice and preference may be suicidal sometimes. The same holds in differentiation. There are a million ways to differentiate. Probably one can come out with a blue colored ketchup ,or a circular shaped T.V or worlds thinnest laptop, which doesnt even have a DVD player.
So whats the use ? Do I benefit with a new variant or different color ? Of course not !
Differentiation for the sake of differentiation is a pretty useless thing.When Coke came out with the New Coke , it bombed in the market. Sometimes it is attributed to the “resistance to change” by the people . But the key factor is , the product has failed to satisfy any unrequited need .
This is where the Walkman succeeded. It answered the need for music on the move
So remember , differentiation maybe important , but whats more important is constantly searching for cues to develop the “most needed” product and not the “most wanted” product !
Blue Ketchup anyone ?