Remember Nokia? Sadly, this is one company who didn’t regularly validate the market assumptions. That’s why from a market leader (50% global market share) it quickly became a faded memory. Apple came in, changed the mobile space, redefined the requirements for Nokia customers and, surprisingly, Nokia didn’t go back and ask ‘how can we change? how can we compete quickly enough?’ Nokia didn’t review its market assumptions and failed to update their product.
How much do you think you know about your market? How much do you think is wrong or super biased? What if you compete with a segment you did not even consider competition a few years ago? I mean, in the past 10 years, the global digital camera market has been witnessing a negative growth. And that’s because the smartphones completely redefined the market and consumers are no longer dying to invest in new models of digital camera due to the lack of tech innovations. So, yeah, keep an eye on possible substitute products.
Product marketing is a tough gig. But if you often hear ‘we’ve been doing X that way for Y years’, it’s the best time to reevaluate your market assumptions and maybe reposition your product or even redefine your offering. Also, if your product demand encounters an ‘unaccountable’ decline, it’s time to readjust your product.
The question is: when was the last time you’ve validate your market assumptions? Here are some simple steps to evaluate if your assumptions about the market are correct:
- Check the latest industry surveys
- Evaluate competitors and complementors positioning; competitors are constantly changing the market
- Check if your unique selling proposition has changed; clues might be things like new technologies/product disruptions on the market
- Attend conferences, check out the new trends, what the market is asking for
Remember: if you’re behind the market, becomes really hard to catch up to your competition. Don’t miss the changes in your market. Don’t be a loser. Reassessing your market assumptions is vital for your product. Maybe a new market is opening up.
Let’s end with this thought. What would you do if you’d work on a financial product right now? Would you review your assumptions, would you update your product? Would you go beyond your core business into a digital ecosystem to grow engagement and capture data to get a bigger view of customers’ needs? What kind of product would you build? A financial supermarket or rather a nonbank product? I’m curious about your thoughts on this matter.