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How to Balance Feature Count & Feature Depth to Build A Great Product

balancing between feature depth and feature count

In today’s digital era, marketers go for a huge feature count in their digital products looking to attract and engage customers better. However, while they claim a range of features, there is not much one can do because the features lack depth.

On the other hand, a business might decide to put emphasis on that one out-of-the-box feature that would go on to define the entire product, but that wouldn’t work either. The truth is that people do not use half of the features, or sometimes the feature they are seeking is simply missing.

So, the right call would be to maintain a balance between the two, i.e., giving equal weight to feature count and feature depth. The magic works only when the feature count in a feature set looks minimally distributed and the feature depth says exactly what buyers want to hear!

The two parameters when blended with the right proportions will lead to offering a wonderful CX.

Feature Count & Feature Depth: Overview

Feature count and Feature depth are terms that look similar but their semantics are strikingly different. This is what they truly imply:

  • Feature count = The number of features listed under a digital product that describes what that digital product is or in other words, it describes the functions of the product in totality
  • Feature depth = The range and the extended capabilities of a digital product that help understand how that digital product really proves to be helpful to the end-user and solves their problems

However, the big question daunting most of the contemporary marketers is how to go about maintaining that right balance between the two!.

So, here’s a detailed guide that will help you build a spot-on feature set.

3 Techniques to Balance Feature Count & Feature Depth

The best feature set is the one that does not require re-targeting or shiny fonts and effects to hit the bull’s eye. Rather an enterprise should be directly focusing on planning, building, and implementing the feature set.

Here’s an illustration of “Google Calendar” that simplifies what a feature count and feature depth imply.

How Google Calendar differentiates

The truth is: Features are important, i.e., What your product is made up of or how it would stand the tests of time. But, how they are going to solve the problems of your target audience is equally significant, i.e., how the product adds value to the life of your customers.

This is exactly what will help drive buying decisions! And, miraculously make the customer experience also shine across all selling platforms.

Now is the right time for marketers to learn the key techniques to build the right balance in feature count and the feature depth. Let’s get started.

1. Adopting the Feature Matrix

A feature matrix is a right tool that helps make sure that the message you are trying to convey about a digital product is relevant. After all, the purpose of a feature matrix is to trigger CTAs (call-to-action).

So, what does this feature matrix look like? Here it is:

In this format, list all the essential features on the left-hand side and all the benefits on the right-hand side in a feature matrix –

The third section of this matrix is called the call-to-action section that lists what actions your feature count and feature depth are likely to lead to.

With this feature mapping, it can be a lot easier for your brand to convey the exact message and stimulate the intended actions through your features, thereby, bringing more depth to your features and fading out non-relevant features.

2. Stay Aloof of Fake Benefits with a Forehead Slap Test

If you come down to write unrealistic features, you could go on and on in an infinite loop while losing the true purpose on the way. In the end, both the feature count and the depth would go into ruins.

To save the day, a “Forehead slap test” is a key technique that can be of huge help. It directly helps measure the power of the pitch made.

The principle of the test is a simple trick. Imagine your customers waking up from a deep sleep, slapping their forehead, and realizing that they need to solve some problems.

Example:

“Holy shit, I need to stop being a sloth and start going through my unread emails. God knows, what I missed. I wish I had an automatic mail alert system so that I could reply to the leads at the right time.”

You just filled what your digital product would want to help your target audience with! And, that is a real feature depth.
On the contrary, if you write the same thing as this:

Holy shit, I need an automated mail alert system. Now, does that add depth to the feature? Well, it doesn’t look like so.

Thus a forehead slap test is a game-changer technique that can help you kick out redundant features and construct one feature with the right depth to hit the nail!

3. Focus on the Types of Product Features

To build a perfect feature, there comes the need to understand the four categorizations of product features that, in turn, aids in making the right amount of noise about your digital product.

With these categorizations in place, you never make a mistake to exceed the feature count, neither do you get overboard with mentioning features worth not mentioning, and vice-versa.

Coming to the point, here are the four feature categorizations your team needs to stick to:

  • Brand Attributes: These features list out the heart of the product to the end-users. Here you could list the vital things of your product through your features: What is your product ‘s USP? What is the look and feel of your product? Or even, what information like what technology did you implement?
  • Defining Functions: Here you need to clearly list out features that define what your product does or tries to accomplish. For example, Google Calendar helps in tracking upcoming important events that could be one of the many essential functionalities.
  • Defining the Customer Experience: This makes for an essential feature as it helps define how your digital product interacts with the users. Is the experience worth the hype? For example, Netflix’s customer experience starts right from signing up, personalizing the content, to offering a seamless overall interaction.
  • Mentioning the Qualitative Benefits: Quality straightaway defines the merit of the digital product in question. The product needs to list out clear cut qualitative features like: Service quality, ease of use, usability, reliability, and even satisfaction rate.

By mentioning these four types of features in your digital product descriptions, you wouldn’t miss even a beat of it. And, nothing can stop your brand from being the king of marketing.

All hail to you!

Performing the Final Balancing Act!

Once you have all the shortlisted features at your end that balance out the feature count and the feature depth, you still need some kind of refinement before going out live. Follow this final four-step process for weighing in the feature count and feature depth in the right proportions.

  • Create a list of all the features with the depth that your digital product after using the above-suggested techniques
  • Take inputs from your marketing team as to why each of the features is included and how it adds value to the life of the target customer/client
  • Follow the “Why” and “How” idea. Here you could ask the team to answer as to why a certain product exists and how it will help the customer solve a particular problem
  • Also include the “emotional quotient” in the products feature set, i.e. ask your team to level up the product feature with emotions

For. e.g. Here’s a template you could follow for determining why a key feature of a digital product such as Gmail should be there in the feature set to build the right balance in Feature depth and feature Count of Gmail:

This template is a good example for screening feature depth and feature count

Having that done, you win the balancing game without even having to put those extra efforts. A win-win situation, indeed!

Conclusion

This is it for now! How you balance out the feature count and the feature depth for your digital product is an art as well as a streamlined process, you ought not to miss catching on. After all, it is all about selling the result and not the product.

Deploying the above-described techniques, marketers can surely architect the right balance in the feature count and feature depth of their digital product to lure and engage the customers in the best way and enhance the customer experience.

Further, there are many reputable design experts available with years of valuable experience. Their expertise and love for designing can make your features look beautifully captured that not only boost the CX but the sales too.

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Satinder Singh

About the Author

Satinder Singh works as an Associate Project Manager at Net Solutions for the past nine years. His abundant knowledge and ability to drill down the details makes him a perfect person for the job. Being a constant part of the organization, Satinder has also been an active organizer of various events and CSR activities.

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