Creating a successful product strategy "Product people - Product managers, product designers, UX designers, UX researchers, Business analysts, developers, makers & entrepreneurs November 11 2022 False Guest Post, Product Strategy, Mind the Product Mind the Product Ltd 1804 Creating a successful product strategy Product Management 7.216

Creating a successful product strategy

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In this guest post, Ian David delves into creating a product strategy looking at the most important aspects to remember. 


The phrase product strategy gets thrown around a lot during meetings and seminars, but what does it refer to? Effective product strategies are important for the success of any business selling products and knowing what one looks like is important. In this article, we will not only look at what a product strategy is but also list 9 product strategies for setting your strategic vision for product offerings.

What is a product strategy?

A product strategy should be created with the best version of the product in mind. It should be the end goal for the product.

Having this in mind will allow you to plan the pathway towards the end goal.

It’s similar to a business plan, where a business envisions where it wants to be in a year, 5 years, or even 10 years. With a roadmap in place, it’s much easier to set goals that work toward the end goal.

Things to remember when creating a product strategy

When you’re creating a product strategy you should keep these things in mind:

  • Who are you selling to?
  • What are you selling?
  • What value do you provide your customers?
  • How will you price your product?
  • How will you distribute your product?

Now that we have a better understanding of product strategies and what to keep in mind, let’s take a look at nine product strategies to help you set your strategic vision.

#1 Aim for the moon when creating your strategy

Don’t hesitate to dream big with your mission and vision of your product strategy.

Your product strategy will have set goals, all working towards your product’s vision or mission. Having an ambitious vision might sound counterintuitive, but it should help you create better goals and work harder towards a better product.

Don’t be afraid to even include launch tools to help you throughout the process.

#2 Find out what customers want and how their needs evolve

If you want to create an effective product strategy you must do the research beforehand.

Understanding the current market and what customers expect from the type of product you’re selling is important. If you invest in a product or service that already has a saturated market, you’ll find it much harder to make any sort of impact.

In this situation, you would need a lot of capital to either create a large marketing campaign or offer products at a loss to create a large customer base early on, before slowly hiking prices.

If you’re a small-scale business, these options aren’t feasible.

To create a product that will sell you need to find out what your customers need, what their problems are, what their financial situation is, and if they are willing to pay for your product.

This way you can create a product or service that satisfies a need that currently hasn’t been addressed by any other products or services.

Discovering any new problems that customers have could offer you an opportunity to develop your product.

#3 Understand where your product fits in the value chain.

30,000 new products launch every year. Understanding the larger context of products and what customers are investing time into is important.

This means an understanding of what purpose your product is fulfilling and how valuable it is to your users.Plenty of new products are created yearly to offer solutions to everyday problems, as well as current businesses finding new ways to improve their current products.

One of the best examples is how Netflix, originally a DVD rental business, kept its vision and mission alive, even after transitioning to an online streaming service.

To figure out where your product fits in the value chain, remember to ask yourself:

  • What purpose does the product serve the customer?
  • How well does it fulfil its purpose?
  • How widespread is the problem your product offers a solution to?

#4 Look at other businesses and their strategies

Looking at other businesses with similar products could offer you valuable insight.

Learning from other businesses, still open or closed down, can help you avoid the same mistakes other businesses made.

Look at their ad campaigns, were they successful? What did they do to promote the product? What were their vision and mission when creating it?

These questions should help you avoid similar issues and take away what successfully worked for other businesses.

#5 Be ready to adapt and change with the market

Business is an ever-changing minefield of innovation. What’s hot and in today, might get the boot the next day for something even better.

The mobile phone business is an excellent example of this.

Xiaomi launched its first mobile phone in 2011, just over a decade ago. Challenging the largest mobile phone manufacturing companies Samsung and Apple.

Its business model was to sell cheap, low-budget smartphones packed with an extra feature or two than their direct competitors.

This meant you could buy a Xiaomi phone with much more features than a Samsung phone for the same price.

Xiaomi, still new to the market, didn’t care about packing in features that were only found on higher-end smartphones, but for a lower price.

The organization knew there was a market for lower-budget phones, but with certain features like a higher quality camera or Dolby surround sound.

An area that Samsung and Apple weren’t really focused on at the time.

Sure, Samsung was selling cheap smartphones for the better part of the last decade but had taken out a lot of features like larger batteries, better cameras, and even how fast security updates are given to the phone.

This is to make sure that a larger number of customers gravitate toward their more high-end devices, but in the end, was the reason Xiaomi had the 2nd largest smartphone shipment in 2021.

As we can see, adapting to the marketplace is an important part not only of a business’s successs, but longevity. The most successful companies have time and again shown that innovation and adaptability are the key to success.

(Image source)

#6: Develop your KPIs regularly with your strategy

Backfilling KPIs after you’ve already developed your strategy isn’t productive.

Measuring your KPIs will depend on the goals you set and the timeframe they fall within. If your business sets monthly goals, it’s best to monitor your KPIs weekly. This should offer insight to how well your business is doing and to scale your goals accordingly.

Five of the most important KPIs to keep track of are:

  • Client retention
  • Revenue growth
  • Profit margin
  • Revenue per client
  • Customer satisfaction

Setting measurable KPIs as you’re developing your strategy helps you determine more accurate assumptions, as well as keeps you from straying down the wrong path due to an incorrect projected KPI.

#7 Communicate your vision and strategy clearly

With your product roadmap all set, you’ll need to prepare to show any relevant stakeholder your strategy.

Before that though, try the pitch with your team or loyal users.

Did they understand the purpose or reason behind the product? If they aren’t convinced, the stakeholders and even the rest of your potential customers won’t.

If it is received well by your test group, it’s time to go ahead and pitch it to the stakeholders. Make sure your mission and vision are clearly communicated.

#8 Keep your teams on the same page

Now’s the time to get your teams together and make sure that everybody is on the same page. Set attainable goals and make sure everyone can communicate quickly and easily with each other.

This can be done on tools like Monday, ClickUp or ProofHub. These tools offer customizable calendars with a built-in messaging system. It makes managing tasks and communicating with co-workers easy and fast.

(ProofHub dashboard example)

Make sure that different teams communicate effectively.

For example, teams responsible for product testing and user reviews should be in constant contact with the design team. As user feedback comes in, you can make changes that will improve the product before launch. If you can’t make up your mind on which tool to use you can always have a look at this great project management tool list.

Keeping in touch and continuous iteration is better than simply launching a product into the world. Instead, this continuous development allows for a more refined product, as well as allows the product to evolve with the changing market.

#9 Keep track of progress and adjust accordingly

Make sure the data collected is grounded. This means data collected should be real-world data, done with real customers with unbiased opinions.

Data collected should always be put up against your existing product strategy. This will tell you whether your product strategy needs to be changed.

Some excellent tools to help you collect important data are Hotjar, Surveymonkey, and CRM tools like Salesforce.

These tools collect all sorts of data like customer opinion on products, where users spend the most time on your website, as well as things like automated emails to your email list, record service issues, and even manage marketing campaigns.

With customer data collection and monitoring of important KPIs, you should notice whether your marketing strategy is working or not, and adjust accordingly.

An excellent example of a company that changed its product strategy is Chipotle.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Chipotle’s counter-service approach to selling food wasn’t feasible, since people had to stay indoors. They quickly started losing a lot of business and had to adjust accordingly.

A company that wasn’t well known for drive-Thru services quickly invested a large amount of money and started promoting its drive-thru services to get people buying food again, without the risk of getting sick.

But these aren’t just normal drive-thrus. The main focus of these “Chipotelanes” is mobile orders, which a large number of people have gotten used to, especially during the pandemic.

Make sure to keep up to date with the feedback you’re getting from customers, no matter at what stage your product strategy is in.

(Image source)

Develop your product strategy and vision today

Now that you’ve gone through the 9 product strategies to set your strategic vision for product offerings, you’re ready to go launch your product idea.

Remember that products need to serve a purpose, otherwise it can be difficult to convince customers to buy your product. Make sure that as you develop your products that you keep the customer’s needs in mind, as well as be ready to adapt at any point in time.

There’s more where that came from! Access more great insights on Mind the Product

In this guest post, Ian David delves into creating a product strategy looking at the most important aspects to remember. 
The phrase product strategy gets thrown around a lot during meetings and seminars, but what does it refer to? Effective product strategies are important for the success of any business selling products and knowing what one looks like is important. In this article, we will not only look at what a product strategy is but also list 9 product strategies for setting your strategic vision for product offerings.

What is a product strategy?

A product strategy should be created with the best version of the product in mind. It should be the end goal for the product. Having this in mind will allow you to plan the pathway towards the end goal. It’s similar to a business plan, where a business envisions where it wants to be in a year, 5 years, or even 10 years. With a roadmap in place, it’s much easier to set goals that work toward the end goal.

Things to remember when creating a product strategy

When you’re creating a product strategy you should keep these things in mind:
  • Who are you selling to?
  • What are you selling?
  • What value do you provide your customers?
  • How will you price your product?
  • How will you distribute your product?
Now that we have a better understanding of product strategies and what to keep in mind, let’s take a look at nine product strategies to help you set your strategic vision.

#1 Aim for the moon when creating your strategy

Don’t hesitate to dream big with your mission and vision of your product strategy. Your product strategy will have set goals, all working towards your product’s vision or mission. Having an ambitious vision might sound counterintuitive, but it should help you create better goals and work harder towards a better product. Don’t be afraid to even include launch tools to help you throughout the process.

#2 Find out what customers want and how their needs evolve

If you want to create an effective product strategy you must do the research beforehand. Understanding the current market and what customers expect from the type of product you’re selling is important. If you invest in a product or service that already has a saturated market, you’ll find it much harder to make any sort of impact. In this situation, you would need a lot of capital to either create a large marketing campaign or offer products at a loss to create a large customer base early on, before slowly hiking prices. If you’re a small-scale business, these options aren’t feasible. To create a product that will sell you need to find out what your customers need, what their problems are, what their financial situation is, and if they are willing to pay for your product. This way you can create a product or service that satisfies a need that currently hasn’t been addressed by any other products or services. Discovering any new problems that customers have could offer you an opportunity to develop your product.

#3 Understand where your product fits in the value chain.

30,000 new products launch every year. Understanding the larger context of products and what customers are investing time into is important. This means an understanding of what purpose your product is fulfilling and how valuable it is to your users.Plenty of new products are created yearly to offer solutions to everyday problems, as well as current businesses finding new ways to improve their current products. One of the best examples is how Netflix, originally a DVD rental business, kept its vision and mission alive, even after transitioning to an online streaming service. To figure out where your product fits in the value chain, remember to ask yourself:
  • What purpose does the product serve the customer?
  • How well does it fulfil its purpose?
  • How widespread is the problem your product offers a solution to?

#4 Look at other businesses and their strategies

Looking at other businesses with similar products could offer you valuable insight. Learning from other businesses, still open or closed down, can help you avoid the same mistakes other businesses made. Look at their ad campaigns, were they successful? What did they do to promote the product? What were their vision and mission when creating it? These questions should help you avoid similar issues and take away what successfully worked for other businesses.

#5 Be ready to adapt and change with the market

Business is an ever-changing minefield of innovation. What’s hot and in today, might get the boot the next day for something even better. The mobile phone business is an excellent example of this. Xiaomi launched its first mobile phone in 2011, just over a decade ago. Challenging the largest mobile phone manufacturing companies Samsung and Apple. Its business model was to sell cheap, low-budget smartphones packed with an extra feature or two than their direct competitors. This meant you could buy a Xiaomi phone with much more features than a Samsung phone for the same price. Xiaomi, still new to the market, didn’t care about packing in features that were only found on higher-end smartphones, but for a lower price. The organization knew there was a market for lower-budget phones, but with certain features like a higher quality camera or Dolby surround sound. An area that Samsung and Apple weren’t really focused on at the time. Sure, Samsung was selling cheap smartphones for the better part of the last decade but had taken out a lot of features like larger batteries, better cameras, and even how fast security updates are given to the phone. This is to make sure that a larger number of customers gravitate toward their more high-end devices, but in the end, was the reason Xiaomi had the 2nd largest smartphone shipment in 2021. As we can see, adapting to the marketplace is an important part not only of a business’s successs, but longevity. The most successful companies have time and again shown that innovation and adaptability are the key to success. (Image source)

#6: Develop your KPIs regularly with your strategy

Backfilling KPIs after you’ve already developed your strategy isn’t productive. Measuring your KPIs will depend on the goals you set and the timeframe they fall within. If your business sets monthly goals, it’s best to monitor your KPIs weekly. This should offer insight to how well your business is doing and to scale your goals accordingly. Five of the most important KPIs to keep track of are:
  • Client retention
  • Revenue growth
  • Profit margin
  • Revenue per client
  • Customer satisfaction
Setting measurable KPIs as you’re developing your strategy helps you determine more accurate assumptions, as well as keeps you from straying down the wrong path due to an incorrect projected KPI.

#7 Communicate your vision and strategy clearly

With your product roadmap all set, you’ll need to prepare to show any relevant stakeholder your strategy. Before that though, try the pitch with your team or loyal users. Did they understand the purpose or reason behind the product? If they aren’t convinced, the stakeholders and even the rest of your potential customers won’t. If it is received well by your test group, it’s time to go ahead and pitch it to the stakeholders. Make sure your mission and vision are clearly communicated.

#8 Keep your teams on the same page

Now’s the time to get your teams together and make sure that everybody is on the same page. Set attainable goals and make sure everyone can communicate quickly and easily with each other. This can be done on tools like Monday, ClickUp or ProofHub. These tools offer customizable calendars with a built-in messaging system. It makes managing tasks and communicating with co-workers easy and fast. (ProofHub dashboard example) Make sure that different teams communicate effectively. For example, teams responsible for product testing and user reviews should be in constant contact with the design team. As user feedback comes in, you can make changes that will improve the product before launch. If you can’t make up your mind on which tool to use you can always have a look at this great project management tool list. Keeping in touch and continuous iteration is better than simply launching a product into the world. Instead, this continuous development allows for a more refined product, as well as allows the product to evolve with the changing market.

#9 Keep track of progress and adjust accordingly

Make sure the data collected is grounded. This means data collected should be real-world data, done with real customers with unbiased opinions. Data collected should always be put up against your existing product strategy. This will tell you whether your product strategy needs to be changed. Some excellent tools to help you collect important data are Hotjar, Surveymonkey, and CRM tools like Salesforce. These tools collect all sorts of data like customer opinion on products, where users spend the most time on your website, as well as things like automated emails to your email list, record service issues, and even manage marketing campaigns. With customer data collection and monitoring of important KPIs, you should notice whether your marketing strategy is working or not, and adjust accordingly. An excellent example of a company that changed its product strategy is Chipotle. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Chipotle’s counter-service approach to selling food wasn’t feasible, since people had to stay indoors. They quickly started losing a lot of business and had to adjust accordingly. A company that wasn’t well known for drive-Thru services quickly invested a large amount of money and started promoting its drive-thru services to get people buying food again, without the risk of getting sick. But these aren’t just normal drive-thrus. The main focus of these “Chipotelanes” is mobile orders, which a large number of people have gotten used to, especially during the pandemic. Make sure to keep up to date with the feedback you’re getting from customers, no matter at what stage your product strategy is in. (Image source)

Develop your product strategy and vision today

Now that you’ve gone through the 9 product strategies to set your strategic vision for product offerings, you’re ready to go launch your product idea. Remember that products need to serve a purpose, otherwise it can be difficult to convince customers to buy your product. Make sure that as you develop your products that you keep the customer’s needs in mind, as well as be ready to adapt at any point in time.

There's more where that came from! Access more great insights on Mind the Product

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