DesignWorks Product Market Fit Analysis: A Case Study

A Case Study Designworks Product Market Fit Analysis

A DesignWorks’ client, Blackstone Technology Group, asked us to develop a website to validate their assumptions around the positioning, messaging, and launch of their new product, Trellis. Trellis’ customers are in the oil and gas industry: the drillers who get the raw forms of the energy out of the ground; the pipelines that move it across the continent; the processors who turn it into the fuels that can be consumed; and the utility companies that deliver it to our homes, to light our stoves and heat our houses.

Trellis is a disruptive cloud-based entrant into a market populated with old-school solutions that are slow to deploy and expensive to maintain. So Blackstone felt they knew what the positioning should be: Tired of your old creaky solution? Save time and money with Trellis.

To double-check Blackstone’s assumptions regarding their positioning and as part of our website discovery and design process, we took their team through a two-day Product Market Fit Analysis. On day one we laid out the key Value Dimensions for each of their customer segments. These turned out to be Compliance, Reliability, Speed of Deployment, Configurability, Total Cost of Ownership, Ease of Use, and a few others. Then we gave each of these an “importance” score, for each market segment. By the end of the day we had a detailed Customer Value Model for each of their seven most important customer segments. Armed with this quantitative view of what matters to their customers, we could move onto the next step.

On day two we scored Trellis and eight of the most important competitors (including homegrown solutions) against this Customer Value Model. The results? Some important insights that led us to collectively re-think the positioning and messaging strategy for their product.

The most important overall theme to emerge was that their customers are operating in an industry that is in the midst of rapid change. Everything from new drilling technologies to regulatory changes to unpredictable weather is shaking things up. For these companies, opportunities appear quickly and must be acted on right away; and the same goes for problems. This means our client’s primary advantage is not cost savings or faster deployment. Both are important, but adaptability and configurability are even more important to their customers. This insight eventually led us to positioning based on these advantages, and messaging built around a simple statement:

Change Happens. Be Ready with Trellis.

We also found that there are important groupings of market segments and that, for example, Trellis’ advantages are very similar for both Utilities and Pipelines segments. Knowing this, we were able to avoid two mistakes: first, we avoided using generic messaging for all market segments and second, we avoided wasting time and money on differentiated messaging for segments that didn’t need it.

The overall positioning of Trellis as a change-agent and the learnings about commonalities across market segments enabled a differentiated and simplified positioning and messaging strategy for Trellis. The DesignWorks Product Market Fit Analysis proved to be an invaluable and time-effective tool in this process and also re-enforced an old and obvious truth – it always pays to take a look at your product through your customer’s eyes.

If you have a new product to launch or an existing product that needs some attention, DesignWorks Product Market Fit Analysis could be the ideal way to understand how best to position and message it to your target market and customers. Interested to know more? We’re here to help.

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