A new idea, a path breaking product; you know it is the alpha among all your products. But how sure are you that it is the only product of its kind in the market. In most of the cases, your products will have at least a few competitors no matter how big an innovative disruption it is. You have to make sure that your product is a class apart and gets all the right attention that makes it the first choice for your target audience. This is where The Strategy Canvas comes into action.
To start with The Strategy Canvas is the brainchild of Kim and Mauborgne, the people who wrote Blue Ocean Theory. They conceived it to be a strategy tool to decipher new and emerging markets. However, the same framework works well for individual products.
Take the example of A Strategy Canvas Graph that pits the first iPhone against other Smartphones like BlackBerry Curve and Nokia N9. The horizontal axis of the graph has the 12 key factors that influence buying decisions and the vertical axis indicates the Offering level. The 12 factors range from video quality, touch screen sensitivity, design, ease of use.
The next step is to assess these twelve qualities for iPhone and other Smartphones with similar features and draw two lines. If the lines diverge, it indicates that the product comes with a USP that makes it stand out from the rest. So, the 2007 version of iPhone scores the brownie point in terms of the touchscreen, handling, and connectivity, three aspects that went ahead to make the model the first choice amongst users.
The first step before creating the Strategy Canvas graph is to decide on the value proposition for your product. Mark all the primary features and value that the product provides. Understand the target market. Make note of the major competitors and their offerings.
Keep the canvas market relative rather than product centric. So, mark the key pointers on the basis of market standards and the advertised features. Now place your product and analyze the offering value of your product against these features. Keep the factors close to 10 or a bit more to avoid confusion. Rank your product as not at all, somewhat, almost or fully having these features.
Once you are done with pointing the values on the graph, join them to simplify. It will give you a bird’s eye view if not a detailed understanding of the product. If the graph for your product converges or aligns to the one of your competitor’s then you are not giving out a unique product. You need to eliminate and reduce some where you think the competition has got a strong upper hand. Raise and create key factors that the competitor is lacking. Understand the vacuum and gaps in market demand and create features addressing the gaps.
Now, not just a new product, but The Strategy Canvas can be your pick for checking your current products on a regular basis. It helps you to understand where your product stands today or has the competition caught up with the features.