We have an idea that we think it's brilliant. Now I also assume that we know the type of our idea, we have done user research, we have got some data meaningful or meaningless. We think that our idea or solution is unique or better than the other ideas and solutions. In this step, we can validate the differentiation by looking at trends and competitor analysis.
Before starting the competitor analysis, first we should look at market demands and trends. In simple words, we want to answer "What’s currently going on in the world?". To answer it, there are exercises such as
1. Keyword Evaluation (Google AdWords) What are people searching for? What do we notice after filtering the high volume keywords?
2. Content Competition (Google Search) What type of content appears in our searches?
3. Geographic Validation (Google Trends) Where do people live who are searching for related keywords?
4. Social Media Validation (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest) What volume of people use keywords related to your idea? How are users talking about related ideas?
By these practices, we can see if our product fits the trend and it is are demanded.
A product designer should know who the competitors are. We can simply use Google Search to see the competition by entering the keywords which describe our product. Assume that our idea is to make best custom pizzas in the city and deliver them to the customer quickly. Make sure that our customer will use those keywords to describe your product.
Here our competitors. We see that they already use Google Search Ads. After we have seen our competitors, we can collect some basic info about these companies by using WHOis.net, Facebook and Twitter. Facebook and Twitter pages can give you information about their customer relations, social media attitude, value proposition, marketing strategies, customer reviews and etc. If we want to find more information about them, we can go to SimilarWeb and search for either websites or mobile apps. On the result page, we can get how the website is doing, the traffic sources, the geography of the traffic, and keywords that people use to search for those websites. I put an example image based on Pyszne.pl which is one of our competitors.
It is possible to find more information. We can use similar strategies, because these competitors are already in the market for a long time, they are well-known, they seem that they to right thins. So, any outcome from this data is beneficial for us.
After done with user research and competitor analysis, we may want to edit our original idea, or change it completely. It's totally natural. Perhaps we need more steps to make our idea clear. There are four activities to clarify our idea.
*The first is Twitter Description. How could you announce your product or service in140 characters at most? This is important to get focus on the key user value.
*Second, Could you write a future press release? How would your product first appear in the news?
*Third, Could you write one page executive summary of your product or service?
*Fourth, Could you write an experience strategy template?
For each of these activities, Google has a template here. We do not have to apply all four activities. The first and third can help us to clarify our idea. It's not mandatory but good practice. Once we have a valid idea, we can start delivering product to the end user.