This is the 4th article in a series on Geoffrey A. Moore’s Crossing the Chasm. To jump to the first article in the series click here!
Product to Market — A Shift in Focus
One of the most important things to realize about navigating the shift from the early market to the mainstream market is that your product itself is no longer the focus.
That’s right. You’re product is now secondary. Instead, everything that surrounds your product–the whole product solution–is primary.
According to Moore, you used to be selling a ‘cool product’:
- That was easy to use
- Had elegant architecture
- Was available at a great price
- And possessed unique functionality
Now, however, you’re selling a whole product solution:
- Has a solid user experience
- Complies with standards
- Price reflects its whole product price
- Has situational value
- And is fit for the purpose
As Moore himself writes, “To sum up, it is the market-centric value system— supplemented (but not superseded) by the product-centric one— that must be the basis for the value profile of the target customers when crossing the chasm.”
In other words, you don’t suddenly ditch the ‘cool product’ you began with. Rather, you retain it while shifting the majority of your energy to the communication of your whole product solution to the pragmatists.
Two Competitors: The Market-Competitor and the Product-Competitor
At this point, you’ve made the decision to switch to a market-focused approach from one that was more product-focused. Your cool product is still there, but its taken a backseat to more pressing problems that pragmatist buyers want to see addressed.
With this switch to a market-focused approach, however, you also need to begin the task of positioning. Moore suggests highlighting two separate competitors, your market-competitor and your product-competitor.
Your market-competitor will be the veteran company in your market segment, the company you’re trying to push aside with your disruptive product. The product-competitor, on the other hand, is your fellow disruptor who’s either beat you to market or is hot on your heels.
Ask yourself, what sets both our product and our whole product solution a part from these two competitors? Answering this question is extremely important to creating a unique selling position.
In the next article we’ll go more focus on Moore’s ideas related to positioning. Did you miss the first articles in the series? Check out the introduction here.