The Art of Product and Service Design
by Dai Ross
Are you selling a common product in your industry or specializing in a product your clients are looking for?
In the photography industry, I’ve been blindsided by a few core traps many of us get hung up on. In an attempt to establish a business, we declare what we are passionate about, do a search on our competitors, then create prices and products that are familiar and competitive in price.As I’ve been developing several new businesses and products over the past few years, I’ve found common places where clients needs get missed in the products we sell. Our desire is to create the work we love, but to what application? Do the formulas that worked 5 years ago for portraits work today?
When I designed The POST Headshot I discovered applications where the standard for headshots today, were not meeting the client's actual needs. We found that clients knew to search for headshots, but they didn’t know how to find the product they needed. Profile images are not simply cropped in one format and while a CEO may look great posed traditionally, a business coach might be needing something light and unposed. The POST headshot is about individual and business branding which actually often breaks the “rules” of what is deemed a headshot. It’s not necessarily reinventing the wheel but rather adapting it for a new vehicle.
I had a great conversation with a colleague who is now expanding into a 4th salon in only 5 years as a sugaring business. You are probably asking what that is. If I told you she had a waxing company, you might quickly make the connection it’s a hair removal service. Sugaring is a stretch, because it’s a new idea. She got this and found that marketing with a waxing mindset was a faster connection to her audience. Once she had the audience she could speak to the benefits of sugaring as an alternate hair removal service. She was able to use what is familiar to sell what is not. This is where a lot of us get hung up when creating products. We have two common voices when designing products, the professional standard in photography and the familiarity of product to client.
Digging deeper into what you want to offer, what you want to specialize in and meeting the desires of your clients, you’ll have a satisfying experience for both of you and set yourself apart in the industry. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel just make it better!