What Story is Your Product Telling?

What’s the story you’re telling with your new product? Have you got it clearly in your head? Does your team have the same story? Are you developing the product around that story? Building on this central idea that innovation is meeting customer needs in new and unique ways, we need to be diligent in getting the story clear from the very beginning. This story is made up of two pieces: What need are you meeting and how are you meeting it?

Using this story as the starting point, the project has much higher odds of delivering a successful product at the far end of the design process. The story will certainly evolve a bit but it provides needed focus for each step along the way. For the design team, it gives clear decision making criteria: Which option best meets the targeted customer need? For the marketing team, the same story gives them the framework for their work: What need are we solving for our customer?

By the time the product is ready to launch, the final design will be sharply focused on meeting this customer need. And instead of being a shallow afterthought, the marketing message will have the compelling weight of the entire project aligned behind it.

So what story is your product telling?