The digital services industry is very competitive, it’s no longer enough to only be creating great websites or apps.
Let’s face it, digital products are not like physical products. This has come up a lot throughout the years, talking to clients and other peers in the digital industry. It’s not like buying a jacket or building a house, you can’t touch it or hold it. Is it harder to put value into something you can’t touch?
Researchers have found that people are willing to pay more for the physical versions of books, music, video games and movies and that this is because having something that is tangible increases the psychological sense of ownership someone feels over them. But this isn’t always the case. For example, it’s been found that students aren’t willing to pay more for physical textbooks than digital ones. When it boils down to it, it’s really about the way the product addresses the psychological/business/emotional needs of that person. It’s about perception.
There seems to be a thick haze between the desired digital product and its price tag for most clients. Most clients aren’t designers, most clients can’t code, so how can they perceive value in something they don’t truly understand?
The answer is simple, we take them on a journey.
We’re starting to find that ‘how’ a company delivers for clients is as important as ‘what’ it delivers. This posed a new challenge us and for our industry, a traditionally product‐centric industry. The clients give you a brief (usually not a good one), they pay you, you go away for a while and come back with the finished product. Working together with absolute transparency is key. We need to take clients on this journey with us so that they understand the ‘how’.
Even when we think it’s all done and shipped… it’s not. The product used to be the finish of the client experience, now it’s become kind of the starting point. We’ve created the product, now the real work begins, a continuous short cycle innovation process to constantly refine the product.
The journey can be created for your clients in a number ways:
- Transparency: Keep your clients in the loop, let them know everything that’s happening including when something isn’t going right.
- Milestones: Set clear milestones for projects and make sure your client is on board with them.
- Co-Creation: Involve your client as much as possible when planning, brainstorming and creating the product, it’s better to work with clients, instead of for them.
I’ll explore these points and more in a future blog, but for now, I leave you designers, directors, projects managers and developers to ponder on this.