Wednesday, July 02, 2008

reigncom: "offer features customers want first"

Saul Hansell's article A Fresh Start for iRiver should be required reading for all PMs in the blogosphere today.

That's because in his article he relates a diagnosis made by Myoung Woo Lee, the chief executive of Reigncom, the South Korean company behind the iRiver MP3 player:

iRiver had produced innovative and attractive products that appealed more to its engineers than its customers. [Myoung Woo Lee's] remedy is to try to replicate Samsung’s approach to market sensing, a method of observing demand to be able to offer the features customers want first.

So building what your engineers find interesting didn't work for you. Hmm. You think that getting in tune with what your buyers want and being the first to meet those needs will work better. Hmm. Except now you have to compete in a market inhabited by a single well-established market leader who owns the "in tune with what buyers want" market perception and an undifferentiated cloud of low-cost, ankle-biter brands. Oh, and the Zune.


Mr. Hansell goes on to shine more light on Reigncom's plans for reviving the iRiver, and makes some solid observations on the MP3 player marketplace in general.

It's useful reading.

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