We think we know… but we don’t

Product Managers and Marketing people often think we know our customers and what they want from us.
But let me challenge that thinking.
If we knew more about our customers or even our prospects, we might change what we product in terms of experiences.
Let me suggest this.
When I google shoes, which I am apt to do, I often get served up sites that help me to buy shoes. But let me propose that this is too limited.
I may not be interested in purchase. I might be interested in a much broader list of things related to how I want to create my experience. I might want to make shoes, design shoes, support others making shoes, show off my shoes, review others’ shoes, discover new artists, study the history of shoes and learn more about what is coming up in future seasons. In other words, my experience for anything isn’t just about purchasing the direct thing.
And yet most websites, most experiences are focused on a linear path of what companies think I want, or rather what they want me to want.
So when you are considering what the customer experience is of your stuff, think about the potential range of customers’ (existing or future) desires:
1. Design
2. Manufacture/ make
3. Discovery
4. Source parts for…
5. Being wished for
6. Selection
7. Purchase
8. Being shown off
9. Discussion / review
10 Resale
I’m not suggesting this is exhaustive. I’m suggesting that this is at least one “top 10” list for a way of thinking about our experience.
This would probably be a great list to think of when designing both products, experiences, and web sites.

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