A product strategy is your map to product success; it’s planning out your vision for your product and setting actionable goals that you can do to reach your goals. It’s taking your vision to where your company will go in regard to your products and creating steps that you can accomplish to reach success within your company. Companies will normally have more than one product strategy, each product you have will need its own product strategy as well as one that points to the goal of the whole company as well.
An effective product strategy will garner several benefits including revenue growth, increased customer loyalty, and improved customer satisfaction. This may sound excessive and seem like quite a bit of work, but it’s beyond necessary for you to reach your company goals.
How To Create An Efficient Product Strategy
Know your target audience. You’ve heard it a thousand times before; you have to know your target audience. Product strategy is all about the user experience and without actually knowing the user your product strategy will be pointless. A product strategy rarely ends well without a key understanding of your target audience.
Research your audience and genuinely know who they are and what they’re looking for. This will make a world of difference when you’re creating the perfect product strategy. To thoroughly research your target audience for their needs:
- Use field studies and interviews to find out more about your customers, their wants, and their needs
- Transform this data into buyer personas
- Your personas should be predictive personas, those that help you understand likes and dislikes and what will encourage them to become your customer.
Understand their problems. How could you possibly solve problems that you don’t understand? Understand and define their problems and then determine how your product will help them solve those problems. Ensure that not only that a problem exists but that it’s worth paying to solve.
If not, you may have products sitting on the shelves instead of selling like hotcakes. Every decision you make regarding your product should solve your personal problem and provide value.
Listen to feedback. Sure, it’s your company and you know what’s best, but it’s important to be open to listening to feedback, especially from your customers. While you’re in the process of building your product strategy framework, and before you begin work on it, you should be listening to what customers are saying. The user of the product will know better than anyone about the product and it’s critical to listen to feedback if you want an effective product strategy.
Start collecting customer feedback during the initial stages of product development to quickly gather information, make decisions, and make needed changes quickly. To get solicited direct feedback use:
- Product Surveys
- Customer Interviews
- Focus Groups
As you gather this feedback, act.
Setting goals. This is one of the most important steps in your product strategy. Setting your goals will be anticipating small milestones that you’ll have to pass to reach the end goal. Map out each small accomplishment you want to make in the process of your product strategy.
As you set goals, make sure they are SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. They must also be aligned with your product strategy and overall business goals.
Ensure that you’re in sync with the rest of the team. We know how tempting it can be to dive into creating a fully detailed and extravagant product strategy. But it’s also important to keep in mind that everyone on your team should be coordinated with your product plans and goals. Make sure that everyone within the company, including sales, marketing, and development teams are all on the same page.
Everyone in the company should be able to provide a clear definition of your product strategy, if asked. Your team will be more apt to buy-in and participate in working towards development when you foster an environment of:
- Transparency – Communication is key, ensuring that the entire team knows the product vision and product strategy of the brand.
- Empowerment – You want your team members to be innovative thinkers and problem solvers. Empower them to take the lead and ownership.
Vision and Focus. This is often the step where most people make mistakes. The vision, and then the focus required once you have your vision, requires high-level thinking and determination. When thinking about your vision, think of it a bit like your mission statement.
It’s your end goal of what you want to achieve through your product. Your vision should be simple, clean, and easy. No fluff, just straight to the point.
Once you have this vision, and you have a clear idea of where your company is going, comes the focus. Now that you have your vision, it’s time to set your focus on that vision and follow it. Slight revisions to the product strategy are okay and even encouraged but try not to change anything huge.
Your main focus should always be to reach your end goal and it’s important that doesn’t change. When defining your product vision:
- Set long-term goals, think big picture.
- Your vision should be motivational to your entire team
- Share your vision with the team
Treat it like a living document. It’s important to understand that your product strategy is never finished. You may reach your end goal, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t continue to add to it or have it grown as your company does. Keep your product strategy flexible and allow it to grow with your company. In the end, the real goal of your company should be to create a product that is the best it can be, and to accomplish that you have to constantly be improving it.
Take advantage of resources. The internet is filled with helpful tools and resources to get you started on your product strategy. One quick google search and you’ll have a world of resources at your fingertips to get you started. We suggest taking the time to thoroughly research product strategy and what direction you want yours to go in.
Then, once that’s complete you can search for the most helpful resources. While searching, look for available product strategy templates that make the process straightforward. You’ll be surprised at how easy online resources can make it to create a perfect product strategy.
Good Product Strategy Example
Your brand aims to bring to market a time and project management app. You choose the cost strategy, where everything centers on delivering the most affordable app. The brand that offers the closest product in comparison to yours offers their app for $15/month, so you set your monthly price at $10.00.