Insight | 03 August 2022

Why hire a digital product studio?

Tags: Company

Mixed race female developer sat at desk coding with white male colleague next to her

Creating a digital product that meets the needs of your target market, looks great, is easy to use, and is secure, is challenging.

It requires a specialist team, not a generalist digital agency or software shop - and that’s where a digital product studio like Distinction comes in.

What is a digital product?

A digital product uses technology to create specific value or offer some specific benefit for its users.

Digital products have been around for many years, since the early days of the Internet but have seen a rapid rise with advancements in cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

Digital products can be physical (held or touched) or virtual (interacted with in some other way), or a combination of two.

Digital products include websites such as Google, web apps such as MoneySupermarket’s loans search, mobile apps such as WhatsApp, smart devices such as Fitbit, your in-car entertainment system, your movie streaming service, and so on.

What is a digital product studio?

A digital product studio, or digital product agency, is a specialist in taking a product from a nebulous idea in the head of a founder, to a sophisticated, market-leading product.

A digital product studio is an accelerant – helping start-ups launch, scaleups grow, and high-growth challengers become number one players.

The people that work in digital product studios share the entrepreneurial mindset of the firms they work with. They are innovative, customer-centric problem solvers that see the world differently to their peers.

At Distinction, our product teams are comprised of strategists, experience designers, product designers, developers, testers, marketers, and product managers. Each one brings a unique skillset, and unique value, to the team.

Why hire a digital product agency?

Specialist teams

Compared to the generalist digital agency or internal team, a digital product studio has specialist systems and processes to give your product a better chance of success.

Digital product teams are experienced in gaining deep levels of customer empathy, and building product features based on customer-centricity.

Specialist product teams like ours are used to the pace of working in innovative spaces with speed to market and differentiation being paramount.

Honed systems and processes

Digital product studios have the right systems and processes in place. Whilst every product is unique, having tried and tested systems and processes is very beneficial to getting to market quickly and cost-effectively.

Whereas an internal team that is used to supporting existing products, or a generalist digital agency that is used to creating websites, might have to learn how to run a digital product project on the fly, a digital project agency is ready to go. This means your product will ship faster, better meet the needs of your audience, and probably have less bugs.

Increased innovation

Teams in digital product agencies are (normally) more diverse – both in terms of their backgrounds and their skillsets.

Because of this, individuals within the team have typically worked on a wider variety of product and projects before, giving them a more holistic perspective. This combination helps drive innovation; like introducing a novel subscription model to give a bricks-and-mortar gym franchise a passive income stream.

Customer-centricity

Compared to an internal team, an external team is free of the internal biases that might prevent a product from reaching its full potential. An external team will always help you adopt an outside-in approach, meaning everything is driven by consumer demand, rather than the needs of a product owner and manager.

Of course, an internal team should know your business and customers better than any external team, so it’s important to work collaboratively.

Speed

Often, projects are quicker when using specialist digital product teams. Partly because these teams have worked on countless different projects already, so they’ve had time to optimise their systems and processes, and partly because the team is dedicated to the project itself without any issues of sickness, absence or onboarding.

Reduced risk

Hiring a digital product studio rather than an internal team can also be less of a risk. If leadership has a change of heart and your team is dissolved, it’s much easier to end a contract with an agency rather than firing full-time employees.

In that same vein, you still get the same level of dedication and product knowledge from an agency that you would from an inside hire.

Agility and energy

Finally, working with a digital product agency gives larger enterprises the start-up energy needed to complete projects quickly and think outside the box.

Because agencies like Distinction are agile and formed of smaller teams (with much less red tape), they help enterprises build products that would normally take years in just weeks or months.

If you’ve got an idea for a new product, or you want to transform an existing one, please get in touch.