The Standard

Conducting User Research to clarify the value proposition that will stand apart from the competition

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Start-Up seeking product validation with target users

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Clarity into value proposition and concrete next steps to prepare for website launch & continued story refinement

Screenshots from The Standard

About The Standard

Looking to tap the power of a community through a platform.

Chris Pallatroni is the Founder of the Standard. His idea for the product came from a desire to do something to help individuals build the habits they need to live an amazing life. That idea began to take shape in the form of a community platform with the focus on bettering the lives of those involved and at scale, the world as a whole. The Standard set out to do that by helping people change habits and mindsets through the sharing of simple hacks and tips amongst each other. In particular tapping into the power of mentorship through a community and/or expert who had achieved success themselves.

sweet spot graphic

graphic showing the overlap of company, category and customer

The Challenge

After going through a product design sprint and producing a prototype, Chris approached thoughtbot seeking support in additional product validation.

Chris had done a great deal of research and facilitated a number of conversations seeking input on his idea and vision for The Standard. Having successfully managed a venture previously, he understood the importance of clarifying the path forward with target audiences before making a substantial investment in the creation of a custom product. Social Media and community based apps are a highly profitable space, but also a crowded market, so it was imperative to have concrete findings that informed The Standard’s unique value proposition, go to market plan, overall positioning, and primary feature set.

Quote from the founder

Gaining an alternative perspective from research experts is huge.  The process requires you to become more concise and clear with what you are trying to do, because you have to explain that to people.  Great questions can lead to great answers.  thoughtbot knows how to ask great questions, and that process is what provokes thought.

Chris Pallatroni

The Solution

We started our engagement by ramping up on all conversations, experiments, and resources to date.

We then facilitated discussions to iron out our research plan. This included the creation of a validation framework that highlighted the goals of our research, the hypothesis or key assumptions we wanted to validate and the structure of our experiment. We then defined the attributes of our target users - Influencers.

The influencers were selected as the primary persona to conduct research with because of our assumptions around their willingness to share, join an additional platform and the general unknowns around their motivations around content creation and growing a community. With that target user defined, we worked to schedule 1:1 qualitative interviews with 5 - 6 candidates.

The Outcome

Our interviews uncovered a great deal of valuable insight.

We had some clarity on where the top applications were falling short including hesitations around privacy, security, and lack of authenticity. In terms of motivation, it was clear that for Influencers, the day to day work of creating content, growing their brand and engaging a community was comparable to running their own business, in most cases around the clock. To get this highly valuable but also extremely busy user on our platform, it would be crucial to make it clear the benefits we could provide them and how their involvement would provide a return on investment. 

It was great to hear that our ideas around impact and celebrating the power of a group’s contributions interested influencers. It tapped into their motivations around sharing and growing a community. They also were in total agreement that typical social media platforms don’t foster a shared sense of improving one’s life as a way of improving the world and also that true authenticity wasn’t always coming across.

We share Chris’s sentiment about using research and experiments as the best way to learn more and instill confidence in the path ahead. Some of the short-term next steps we identified included a go to market strategy for a beta website, a possible avenue for expanding on more positioning work and also direction on what key features would resonate with target users. We hope to continue working with Chris to facilitate additional experiments as a way to continue to evolve The Standard into a trustworthy, world changing platform. We hope you check them out and join in on the movement.

quote from founder

The best part of my experience with the thoughtbot team - was the people.  Not only were they smart, and asked good questions, but I enjoyed working with them - that's huge. If you're looking to gain an additional perspective on your product/service, without a doubt you should speak with them.

Chris Pallatroni

the standard beta website

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