What is it?
The Product feature matrix maps out how the benefits your product offers matches customer needs.
One axis represents the importance of these features to the customer. the other measures the perceived differentiation.
Your key differentiators collectively specify your Value Proposition.
When is it useful?
Use this framework when deciding your future value proposition.
Where do you want to invest in innovation to open up as big a gap on your competition as possible? Where do you want to merely match competitors? Where might you be overinvesting and can simplify your offer and reduce cost?
For a Samsung smartphone, a key differentiator could be the screen quality and the battery life.
A key liability could be the lack of good apps in the Android Playstore, and the phone’s image as less “cool” than the iPhone.
Overinvested features could be the camera – Samsung has a perceived advantage, but the customers don’t care.
Irrelevent could be customer service and the product manual – not great, but not important to customers.
How do you do the analysis?
You have to do this analysis for just one needs-based customer segment, since multiple segments will put importance on different factors.
Standard market research can measure the importance and preference of customers. Conjoint and/or cluster analysis will provide more rigorous data.
Indicate on the matrix the trend line for each feature – is is becoming more important and/or differentiating?
How can you adapt this concept?
This has much in common with the Basis of Competition. The difference is that the basis of competition diagram assesses differentiation for the whole industry, the brand-Product feature matrix takes the perspective of a single product.
You could also chart the same data as a graph.