Lately, intuitive and innovative product solutions have appeared in the market out of nowhere. Some companies have launched top-notch accounting software solutions, while others also address customer pain points. Do you ever wonder how did they get to this point?
Truthfully, there is an entire product strategy behind every successful launch. From designing to testing, there is a qualified team perfecting the product. After all, this is the first step to releasing a valuable product to the marketplace. So, do you have a product strategy in place? If not, develop one for your upcoming product inventions.
What Is A Product Strategy?
Product strategy will outline your product from its development to the initial idea. It will have every minor detail about your product, including how it will produce revenue, target audience, etc. Besides this, the product strategy also covers the problem product aims to solve for customers. Hence, don’t forget to mention how the customer gets impacted by your product launch. It will reflect your product’s value in the market. However, a product strategy itself won’t cut it. You must add a few essential components to make it a success.
Here we have highlighted six elements of a winning product strategy.
Develop A Product Vision
Undeniably, your vision is one of the most crucial components of a product strategy. After all, this is what sets you apart. So, what do you have in mind – sleek design, luxurious features, and happy customers? It might be tempting to jump straight into product details and features, but that is secondary. First, you should determine why you are building the product and what you are building.
Developing logical yet convincing arguments might feel overwhelming as a product manager, but you can always learn the ropes. You can get in touch with product managers in the industry and gain insights into their strategies. Otherwise, look for a product manager online bootcamp to get hands-on experience with product strategy. You can learn a lot by interacting with like-minded people.
Talk To Prospects
Most product managers develop the product strategy internally. They explain everything to the executives and brainstorm with the product and marketing team. It might seem like a wise approach, but what about customers? Do you know what they want? Studying the market and talking to prospects remains primary for creating a product strategy. You must understand the problem your target customers face and suggest different solutions.
You have to focus on building something that solves a real problem for which people are willing to pay. And to validate your solution, start talking to potential customers. You can send out surveys on social media forums or ask for feedback. Similarly, request your existing customers to evaluate a hypothetical product. That way, you can develop something that appeals to the audience besides solving their problems.
Conduct A Competitive Analysis
Even though your product is intuitive and new, there will always be some competition in the market. A fellow rival might offer a similar product to the same target audience. Therefore, ensuring competitive analysis is a part of your product strategy. It will enable you to research how competitors’ products can outperform your own. Likewise, you can identify gaps in their products and bridge them while developing your own.
However, this analysis won’t end with your product strategy. Remember, this is an ongoing task; hence, you must keep an eye on your competitors. In addition, keep looking for new problems that your competitor cannot solve for consumers.
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Define Product Goals
Every product underdevelopment has a goal. For instance, people making mobile apps aim to offer users convenience. Similarly, define your product goal but ensure it is measurable and has a few metrics attached. Only then can you use these goals as a benchmark to measure the product’s performance over time. If you are wondering what goals to set, look below.
- You can set revenue-based goals to ensure your product is a hit in the market. For example, managers can aim to increase revenue by 50% in a specific timeframe.
- Similarly, set a goal for business expansion. You can expand into five new markets over the next year.
- You can set penetration-related goals to target a new audience base.
These goals will lay a foundation for your product strategy, unfolding what you can achieve in the specific period.
Determine A USP
No one can replicate every product’s unique selling proposition (USP). Take Spotify, for example. Multiple apps offer music free of cost, but Spotify’s personalized playlists remain a USP for them. Thus, it would help if you determined your USP, which is hard to copy for your rivals.
For starters, focus on building a brand image since competing with a well-built brand is challenging. You can also take advantage of economies of scale by investing in new product features. And most importantly, focus on counter-positioning. That means offering something that your competitors cannot. A few years ago, apple debuted a 30-day free trial for Apple Music to compete with archrival.
You can develop unique, hard-to-copy processes that your competitors can’t compete with since it takes a lot of time and manpower to create.
Outline Your Go-To-Marketing Strategy
Marketing the product is most likely the last step of product strategy but is equally crucial. Therefore, create a marketing plan and outline a sales strategy by keeping the product’s USP in mind. It will work as a blueprint for promoting your product, ensuring it reaches the right audience. All in all, your go-to-market strategy will include all activities that you can use to launch the product in the industry.
Remember, your marketing strategy can make a difference in product launch, so ensure it is well-articulated. It could include custom merchandise distribution, social media marketing, search engine optimization, paid advertisements, and anything that helps reach your target audience. A competent strategy will reduce time to market and the potential costs associated with failed product launches.
Anyone thinking of bringing something new to the market requires a product strategy. It identifies the product’s features and functions while determining its goal. In addition, it helps managers plan and allocates resources for product development. Therefore, make sure to have a strategy ready if you have any product-related ideas. It will enable you to measure the product’s success and growth, aligning with the marketing competition.