Having a well-thought-out strategy is essential when building a product. And one of the most important components of a successful strategy is making the right choice when selecting your market location.
What is the market location?
The short answer — is finding in what circumstances people decide to use your product. For example, you could be a data platform that tries to simplify the ability to consume that data as a whole. But there is that another company that provides way more data points than you do but it makes it harder to read it.
It puts you next to each other as competitors, right?
In my opinion, even though the same people could benefit from both products, there are different reasons why they'd pay for one another. e.g., I want to have a quick way to check the most important data points — I'd prefer a more concise and simple platform. But if I was a data analyst and I had to do deep research, I'd have to go for something more in-depth.
And knowing that difference is what helps you make better product and marketing decisions.
But as it happens, finding that ideal market location for your product can be a challenging task.
So how do you find it?
Step 1. Find other products on the market and their unique attributes
The first step is to understand your product’s competitive landscape. What other similar products are out there? What makes your product different? What is the customer base for these products? In what circumstances do people decide to use that product (what were they doing at that time)?
For example, here’s a small bit of research we did around crypto wallets to find out what does already exist. Take a look at how we assign attributes to the products.
Or another example, here’s the research I did before joining the SuperRare team back in 2020. I tried to look into 2 biggest competitors at the time:
Step 2. Find your product’s unique attributes and project them against your competitors
Next, you will need to identify the unique customer attributes that make your product stand out. These attributes can include anything from how users interact with your product (what they actually do), down to when exactly they decide to use your product (on a coffee brake, etc).
Once you see the pattern, you can try to connect the dots and find the intersection of demand and supply. What was so unique about your offering at that particular point in time?
Once you do that, you can project your unique attributes against those of your so-called competitors and find that even though you’re probably in the same industry, you do serve different needs and urges.
For example, here are attributes we find for one of our collaboration projects, Social Wallets. And this is how we project them against competitors:
and here’s how SuperRare and their then competitors turned out:
Step 3. Applying that knowledge to the product development process
When you have identified the unique attributes of your product, it's time to apply them to the product itself. This can be done in a few ways:
1. Decide which new features to build based on the reasons why customers came to you in the first place. Don't add every feature in the world, as this will dilute your unique position — add what aids your unique attributes.
2. Remove features that don't follow your unique attributes. It can be difficult to cut features, but it will help explain to your users why your product is better suited for their needs.
Or, for example, it could also affect your communication and product language. In this article
, I broke down how we found the right spot for product communication at SuperRare; tldr - because we knew what makes us different (what we learned above), we decided to double down on curation and the importance of social connection when we were redesigning our home feed.