Whether you are set to launch a new product or have an existing product that needs to be refreshed, knowing which features to prioritize as you build is paramount to your success. The choice of product features should be made during concept testing when minimal resources have been committed to any particular product configuration. In order to make the right decisions for your product development, you must first understand exactly how your product is positioned in the mind of your current and prospective consumers. This will help you to best understand which features are critical in their product evaluations and can also help identify where there are gaps in the market your product could fill.
One of the most important learnings you must gather in your research is being able to draw the line between what consumers view as “need to have features” versus “nice to have features.” Of course, you would like to include all of your consumers wants and needs, however, budget, time and bandwidth don't usually allow for this. An understanding of what is most important to consumers will help ensure you are investing in the right areas so that you can create products and services that are truly new, improved, and worthy of a new release or upgrade.