What if I told you nobody actually buys products. Weird, right? Maybe, but let's delve into the why. Consciously or not, what people buy is value.
Value, on a more abstract level, brings us back to happiness, status, sensations, and perceptual experiences in general. This is what people seek when they want to acquire something.
Last week, during a lunch break, I asked some colleagues why they were willing to spend a significantly higher amount of money on purchasing the iPhone, which has an inflated price here in Brazil. The answers varied, but essentially, they all pivoted around the increased satisfaction of carrying that particular device over other similar devices.
Try asking the owner of a BMW what attracts them to their car and you'll hear things about the engine, the comfort, or the design, but know that what really attracts them is the sensation they get from driving and the excitement they get when when the full force of the engine makes them stick to their seat. You can also ask the same question to owners of Harley motorcycles or Vanquish II suits and will probably elicit a similar response centered upon the intangible value the product brings to the owner. Users of Spotify and Deezer, for example, aren't just buying a music app, they're buying inspiration, fun car trips, their favorite throwback songs, and souvenirs, etc. This is what I call bridges: the connection that brands make to reach their customers.
I always say that the product is just a bridge - a bridge that connects you to your client or a bridge that transports the value you generate. Reflecting on my colleagues' replies regarding the iPhone, I realized consumers are tired of seeing competitors create copies of well-performing products because they don't carry the desired value. In other words, no matter how many bridges, or products, competitors have created, some bridges such as the Apple bridge (iPhone) will always be worth more - at least until another brand manages to create an even more powerful bridge that can bring more perceived value to consumers.
But is that all?
No. When I talk about creating bridges, I do not mean purely "create bridges". In order to build a successful bridge you have to observe the world, people, places, and behaviors - good product creators do this all the time.
With these observations in hand, next try to understand what the construction of your bridge will be like:
Is the valley that will be covered too large? (Market unknown)
Will this bridge really be able to carry all the proposed value? (Misleading product)
Is the bridge sturdy? (Good product)
They key is to always be thinking, studying, designing, building, and improving. Also, never forget that a product is no more than a means to an end. I hope I was able to provide some insight, and I'd love to hear your feedback in the comments below. In order to deliver good products, you must build bridges and deliver value.
Jimmy Mayal is a Product Manager at Avenue Code. He is a dedicated and creative professional. He also loves being with his family, studying computers and software, and writing fiction.