We spend a lot of time as marketers, founders, and community managers talking about what our product does. We design feature comparisons. We write “how to” guides. We give elevator pitches.

paper from child saying what they are thankful forBut what are your customers actually thankful for? It doesn’t matter what your product does, it matters what it’s done for them lately.

Nobody cares what your product can do, they care what use they find in it. Maybe the customers of your form-builder tool enjoy it more for the Q&A aspect, like Formspring, which was split into a separate company when they realized that their customers loved something their original product wasn’t designed for). Maybe your team finds the photo-sharing feature of your computer game more compelling than the game itself, like Flickr, which became the #1 photo-sharing site on the web after being born out of a computer game. Build to your actual strong points, not your initial assumptions.

Take a few hours in the next week and talk to some of your customers. Instead of asking what features they use, if they’re happy with the product, or even what new features they want, try this: “what about our product are you thankful for? What parts would you be sad if they went away?”

You might find that it’s exactly what you expected. Or you might be surprised. Regardless, remember what you learn. This is your story. This is your upper hand. Don’t ignore it.

We're walking the walk by asking our customers what they're thankful for over at the UserVoice blog. When's your blog post going up?

Much thanks to Bonnie Natko for the image.