Product managers are charged with delivering a good product but that begs the question, what are the qualities of a good product? At a very close look, what a customer needs out of a product can vary based on the industry, type of product and type of user for the specific requirements and features needed to drive product usage and adoption. However at a higher level, is there just a set of standard qualities of a good product that can be defined which should be used by product managers as a general rule of thumb for when building products? Of course!
So what are the qualities of a good product? Well, at a macro level, the definition would be a good product fulfills the needs and solves the pain points of a target market at a price that is appealing to that audience. Let’s take a deeper dive into that definition because as you look at it more and more you can really see what your product needs to do at a minimum to ensure you are driving a product roadmap that has a chance for success.
1. Fulfills the needs / solves the pain points: The qualities of a good product always starts with a deep understanding of what the users of the product needs are and how your product is suppose to solve those needs. A common failure of a product team is lack of focus on what is important. To constantly remind yourself what is important for your product, always keep in front of you WHY your customers are looking for your solution. WHAT do you solve for them? HOW do you make their life or business easier with your product? While the specific needs vary across industries and user segments, the simple product management approach of clearly defining your customer needs and pain points, laying out how you solve those paint points and focusing your product roadmap on implementation of solutions to continue down that path is a great way to ensure you focus your efforts on the right thing.
2. Of a Target Market: Many industries are very wide in the type of users that could be looking for a solution. You need to define a customer segment you plan to go after with your product. Different types of users require different feature sets, level of support and services based on the type of user you go after. For example, is your product being built for the masses and requires a completely unguided usage of how to use the product? Is your product an enterprise level offering for the top of the industry you support and you need to offer white glove offerings to have your product operational? The type or level of the customer you plan to go after within the industry you want to support is critical to all product decisions and the pain points an enterprise customer faces is very different than the challenges a smaller customer faces so you need to nail your market segment first. The qualities of a good product really depend on the user and as with all great products, the more you focus on the specific user you hope to capture for your product the more likely you will be to succeed.
3. At a price that is appealing to that audience: Most product teams were able to find a pain point and create an opportunity to offer a solution to that pain point. From there, you need to establish what that solution is worth to the specific users you are going to go after. To do this, you need to work with your specific customer segment to understand what the value proposition is and how much they would be willing to pay for it. Again, if you are chasing a large enterprise level customer, you may be able to charge more than if you are offering a small business solution or personal use solution. You need to ensure your price aligns with your segment and that your offering aligns with that specific market segment. The qualities of a good product is to intertwine these threads as they are so closely related and impact each other when trying to build a product that turns into a great business. If you cost too high, you can have a great product that no one uses and too low, you leave money on the table. Always make sure you know who you are trying to get as a user and that you solved their needs from a platform and a price point.
The qualities of a good product really focus on knowing your specific customer segment to drive out the paint points they experience and build a solution that meets their needs. The more you know your customer, the more you will understand the actual value your product is offering them and as a result, what price point you can charge for your product to drive the company and revenue.