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How Great Products Change Our Behaviors

By: Robert Wallace

Our culture of convenience certainly wasn’t hatched with the likes of Uber or Amazon alone, but they are great examples of modern-day brands that have completely shifted our behaviors over time. And isn’t that the hallmark of a truly great brand or product? At some point they prompt us to ask, “how did we do things before this came along?”.

And this is something every generation has experienced at some point and which you might experience several times over the course of a lifetime. Think about the introduction of the microwave, remote control, PC, and more modern examples like Warby Parker, Apple Pay, Airbnb, and the list goes on. Each of these disrupted not just their respective industry, but our way of thinking and thus our experiences.

Changing expectations and experiences

Indeed the digital revolution has have shifted our expectations of what convenience should be, to the point where we’re willing to go out of our way to avoid resorting to the old way of doing things.

Just think about your most recent airport experience. In the past, you likely either arranged a friend or family member to pick you up ahead of time, resorted to an airport or hotel shuttle, or made a beeline for the cab line. Now we’re willing to walk out of our way to find the designated Uber or Lyft pick up location ––even before phoning a friend.

These brands have made their predecessors look completely undesirable ––most of us are only willing to hail a yellow cab as a last resort.

Transcending learning curves

Of course products that shift behavior often come with a learning curve, as they are in some way asking you to adopt a new way of doing or thinking about something. Brands have to gain buy-in and this is where customer experience comes into play.

Our brains are hardwired to gravitate towards the relatable, towards brands or products that “get us” and feel as though they were made to solve our specific problem, towards those that allow us to make the experience our own, and of course towards those that offer the luxury of convenience. If your product has the audacious goal of reshaping a behavior or requires learning something new to use it, it can be considered a barrier to entry. To minimize or eliminate that barrier all together, focus on the customer experience. What is the ultimate problem they are trying to solve? What questions will they have? What will their expectations be of your product? How will they use it and navigate it? When will they use?

There are numerous other questions and forces to examine in determining the type of customer experience your product will offer. The bottom line is successful, behavior-changing products and brands start with a deep understanding of the people in which they are aiming to serve then by solving for their niche problems.

Written by Robert Wallace

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