Rita McGrath

Discover Your Products' Hidden Potential

Coauthor(s): Ian MacMillan.

This article presents a matrix that helps executives identify the attributes that will make commercial products and services most competitive. Companies that underinvest in attributes that customers value will lose customers. Companies that overinvest in attributes that customers do not value will lose money. Four steps in uncovering salient attributes are: identify parallel needs; identify purchasing patterns; observe how customers actually use the product; and identify customers' perceptions of risk. The matrix is a simple way to track and evaluate the attributes that are salient to any given customer segment. It is based on the premise that not all attributes are created equal, each cell of the matrix has a distinctive impact on the competitiveness of the product.

Source: Harvard Business Review
Exact Citation:
MacMillan, Ian, and Rita McGrath. "Discover Your Products' Hidden Potential." Harvard Business Review 74, no. 3 (1996): 58-73.
Volume: 74
Number: 3
Pages: 58-73
Date: 1996