Guest blog by Gianfranco Cuzziol, CRM and Personalisation Lead, Avon International
The evolution of basketball over the past century is a perfect analogy for the evolution of digital products.
Both have undergone numerous changes and adaptations over time, responding to the needs of their audience and the advances in technology. For blue chip companies looking to build a successful digital product, it is important to take this iterative approach and embrace change as a necessary part of the process.
When Dr.James Naismith inadvertently created basketball in 1891, it was an entirely new sport. The first game was played with a soccer-shaped ball (as opposed to a US football-shaped one) and two peach baskets, and it wasn’t until years later that the sport began to resemble the game we know today.
Similarly, the first iteration of a digital product may not look anything like the finished product. It is important to release a minimum viable product (MVP) that addresses the core needs of your target audience and use feedback to guide future iterations and refinements.
One of the biggest challenges in creating a digital product is staying ahead of the curve.
The digital landscape is constantly changing, with new technologies and trends emerging all the time. Just as basketball players have adapted and evolved over the years to keep up with the changing demands of the sport, digital products must also adapt and evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of customers.
The sport itself has adapted to those customer needs as well. This requires a deep understanding of consumer trends, technological advancements, and emerging market forces. By staying ahead of these trends and making strategic investments in new technology and features, companies can ensure that their digital products remain relevant and competitive. But remember that those customers may not just be limited to those that ‘consume’ the sport i.e. fans, but also those who for example provide access (the broadcasters.) and those that control some aspects of the product (governing bodies)
Another important aspect of digital product development is the need to be agile. Basketball teams must be able to pivot their strategy mid-game based on the actions of their opponents, just as digital product teams must be able to pivot their strategy based on changes in the market or user feedback. This requires a willingness to take risks and make bold moves, while also being able to quickly course-correct if something isn’t working.
Avon has successfully embraced the iterative approach to building a digital product. They invested in new technology and features, and in 2016, launched a new digital platform that enabled representatives to sell Avon products online. Gathering feedback and insights from customers and representatives, Avon identified areas where its digital platform falls short, as well as areas of strength that can be leveraged to deliver a better experience for its users. They also took risks and experimented with new strategies such as launching a virtual try-on tool that allowed customers to see how different shades of lipstick and eyeshadow would look on their faces. Being agile and responsive to changes in the market was key, as during the COVID-19 pandemic, Avon pivoted quickly to virtual events and online sales, leveraging its digital platform to keep its representatives engaged and connected with their customers.
Ultimately, the key to building a successful digital product is to embrace change and be willing to adapt and evolve over time. This requires a deep understanding of your audience and their needs, as well as a willingness to take risks and invest in new technologies and features. Just as the game of basketball has evolved over the past century to become one of the world’s most popular sports, so too can digital products evolve and adapt to meet the ever-changing needs of their users. By taking an iterative approach and staying ahead of the curve, blue chip companies can create products that are not only successful today but will continue to be successful for years to come.
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