Product DNA

Product DNA

Chris Murphy · 10 January, 2021

I’ve been using this tool since establishing my independent record label Fällt in the mid-nineties. Product DNA is also one of the tools that my Masters students used extensively.


I’d suggest identifying three similar competing heroes (products, individuals, businesses…) that we could use to tease out an overall strategy. We use these three heroes to establish commonalities and differences that can then be used to inform the overall brand. The basic exercise is as follows:

  1. Choose three heroes (products, individuals, businesses…) that are in a similar space. These are heroes whose work you admire and who inspire you.
  2. We’re looking for the areas of non-overlap, what is different about each company?
  3. Identify what it is about their story that captivates you? Consider:
    1. How are they pricing their products? (Looking at three heroies will give a sense of what the market might bear).
    2. How are they positioned? Are they high end? Mid–? Low-? (Ideally towards the mid-to high-end. We're not creating a commodity.)

We can use this research to build a hero story. We can also use it to: identify potential retailers (where are these three products sold?); and where they’re featured (which magazines and/or bloggers are featuring these products?).

This will give us enough to build towards some useful outcomes.