Users think they want products with a lot of features, but sometimes they end up hating those products— just look at BMW’s original iDrive system. It was loaded with features to give drivers more control than ever over entertainment, temperature, and navigation. Unfortunately, feature creep overloaded the system until it was disastrously difficult to use.
As BMW lost control of the scope of the iDrive system, they failed to consider competition and competence. In trying to do too much instead of specializing, they gave themselves myriad competitors. Their R&D dollars would have been enough to do one or two things well, but the resulting product did several things poorly instead.
In a crowded digital identity space, it’s better to excel at one or two things than be mediocre at several things. So how do you identify and implement relevant features that will move the needle for your customers? For consumer identity products and Personal Identity Ecosystems (PIEs), focusing on five target conditions helps prioritize the right features.
Liminal has spent years developing a proprietary system for measuring and mapping the digital identity space, and we’ve identified five conditions that digital identity is designed to address. As digital identity transforms to become something more consumer-centric, the shift from enterprises to individuals is bringing new requirements to the forefront, which means that recognizing and finding a specialization within these five conditions will be paramount for platforms in solving consumer identity challenges:
Whether consumer-facing or back-end, successful identity products plant a flag in one of these conditions—or at most, in the overlap between two. For example, risk management lives at the intersection of commerce and data protection. Focusing on one or two of these five helps product teams find the North Star that can guide them to the most important features.
In short, this consumer identity conditions and features framework is designed to guide product managers to their optimal booth in the marketplace.
Mastering all five conditions at once sounds tempting, but splitting focus too many times makes it difficult to become a leader for any one condition. There are times when it pays to be a jack of all trades, master of none. If you’re creating a consumer digital identity product, though, it’s almost always best to niche down into one (or maybe two) of the five conditions listed above.
For example, you might assess your current product and find that you’re most focused on inclusion and commerce. That’s a great place to be! It likely makes more sense to plant your flag and keep building than it would to branch too far out into privacy, reputation, or data protection. Successful teams figure out where they fit, then lean into their strengths to improve their positions.
The first step is to map out which features a product already has, and which consumer identity conditions it already meets. This is where an established feature framework can help a team understand the lay of the land. Features and required capabilities can be mapped to the five consumer identity conditions to paint a clear picture.
First, it helps to consider the comprehensive list of required capabilities all digital ID solutions should offer. This helps set the baseline. From there, conditional features enhance product viability by offering more in terms of commerce, data protection, privacy, reputation, or inclusion.
For example, credit scoring systems and parental controls can both enhance reputation. Liminal’s feature framework can help to expose which features will be most desirable to consumers.
Teams can prioritize conditional features by using a consumer digital identity value framework. In this feature framework, we can plot features on a chart to illustrate trust and utility. In other words, how much do users trust a feature, and how much can they benefit from it?
Overlaying features on such a framework is a fast way to see how to create a product and bring it to market. Of course, features that max out both trust and utility–like alternative identification and access methods–are especially desirable. Features that offer little utility and generate little trust are worth little, and might even make the product worse.
Some products may already have a lot of consumer trust, but be light on utility. In such a case, it might make sense to add features that offer especially high utility and are neutral or moderate on trust. For example, omnichannel enablement might produce a massive boost in usability and a slight trust gain.
If your product offers high utility but isn’t perceived as trustworthy, the market is requesting new features to instill trust in your current and prospective users. Would granular consent management or enhanced incident remediation put consumers at ease? Your bespoke consumer digital identity value framework will make it easier to weigh the value of different features and focus on those that make the product more desirable to your desired user base.
After mapping your current features and assessing your product goals, you can determine where you want to be on the map of the digital ID landscape. The added clarity will expose which features your users demand. You also get a closer look at other things that will come into play: Your competition, security concerns, and compliance requirements, to name a few. Once they know what to build and where to operate, product managers and growth strategists can determine how to balance the demands of trust and utility.
Terms like privacy, data protection, reputation, commerce, and inclusion (the five consumer identity conditions) are broad and all-encompassing. The purpose of the consumer ID framework is to become more focused. Honing in simplifies the decision-making process by shining a light on the most efficient way forward:
The Liminal framework for consumer identity conditions and features is designed to help products go to market successfully and grow effectively. Reach out for more information about Liminal’s proprietary consumer ID framework, or learn more about our membership tiers.