Last week I attended the Google I/O Extended event at Adastral Park in the UK and watched Google showcase its new products. One product that caught my eye was the new Android virtual reality platform called ‘Daydream’.
Agile Product Development Google Style
Eric Ries argues in his book The Lean Startup, that companies (both big and small) should use an iterative process of agile product development involving measuring and learning using a minimum viable product (MVP). Google have been doing just this, it ‘Daydream’ platform builds on the Cardboard product which it announced in 2014. Cardboard was an ingenious MVP, it was simply a folded cardboard sheet, which formed a headset into which a smartphone could be slotted to act as the screen and processor for virtual reality use. This gave consumers the opportunity to have their first virtual reality device at a very low cost and for Google to understand the types of interactions it had with consumers and learn from this.
Google along with other tech giants like HTC and Facebook are investing heavily in virtual reality in order to fuel growth and remain competitive. Successful innovation requires more than a good product though; significant investment is needed in all areas from R&D to marketing and promotion. This investment needs to be justified with a compelling business case and a fundamental part of any business case is an assessment of the competitive landscape.
Understanding the Competitive Landscape
Understanding your market is essential to build a competitive edge and beat your competition. However, markets are complex and multidimensional and the future is unknown – market models are an established tool to address these challenges by forecasting changing market dynamics.
Market models provide an aggregated view of customer purchasing behaviour over time, by sector, vendor, product type, price point, and region or country. This allows businesses to identify the right markets and the right products to invest in. As a result, these companies can benefit from increased sales volumes, reduced costs, time efficiencies and better company-wide strategic alignment.
I presented at a Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals event earlier this month and described how to build your own market model and explained how to use this in your organisation for competitive advantage – click here for a copy of the slides.
About the author:
Jonathan Davenport is Head of Market Analysis and has particular experience of using market and competitor analysis to support strategy development. He works for Milner Strategic Marketing, a business consultancy that helps companies grow their value by delivering a range of services from strategic management consultancy through to specific marketing programmes.