Back to Insights

Why every business needs a product strategy

January 6, 2023

Having a clear product strategy is essential for the success of your product. It helps you focus on bringing your product to market and achieving long-term success. It's especially important for new products, but it can also be used to make changes to an existing product to better fit the market or extend its life cycle.

Understanding the big picture: what is product strategy?

Product strategy is a practice that’s been around for a while. Some people view product strategy as a tactical approach to achieving business goals, while others see it more as a form of product development. It's not just a long document filled with product requirements, either!

Product strategy is a high-level guide or framework, for a product and the team working on it. It outlines the most effective guide to develop and market the product.

You have a business strategy, why do you need a product strategy?

Well, a business strategy sets the company’s approach at the highest levels - it’s the big picture stuff.  Product strategy is a high-level plan outlining what the company hopes to achieve with its product and how within the boundaries set by the business strategy. It helps your company align your product with your overall business goals and objectives over the short, mid and long term. It also helps everyone on the team, as well as stakeholders and investors, understand the overall direction and objectives of the product, and how to move forward and measure progress. Essentially, it's like a guiding light to make sure everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals.

So, you might be wondering what goes into a product strategy. Here are a few key components to consider base on business maturity and objectives:

Product vision: When thinking about the long-term impact of the product, consider the potential impact on the market. What value can the product provide, and how can that be leveraged to benefit the company and justify the investment in the product?

Consider this question: how can you design the product to be scalable over its lifecycle in the next 1, 3, or 5 years, while aligning with your short, mid, and long-term business goals and objectives?

Market and needs (target customer): It's important to determine who your product is for and what their needs and preferences are. The needs are the main problem your product addresses or the primary benefit it provides to customers and users.

Consider this question: how do you envision scaling your product to meet the needs of different customers, behaviours, and preferences in different geographic areas over the next 1, 3, or 5 years?

Key differentiators (competitive landscape): The key differentiators are those aspects of your product that are essential for providing value to customers and users and that make it more appealing than competing offerings. These are the factors that set your product apart and make it stand out in the market.

Consider this question: how do you manage the development of your product over its lifecycle to meet the demands of a competitive market with different rivals vying for the same market share?

Marketing strategies: the product strategy should detail the go-to-market strategy you'll use to bring your product to market and sell it to your target audience.

Consider this question: what is your go-to-market strategy for reaching target customers in different geographic areas over the next 1, 3, or 5 years?

Why a strong product strategy is the key to business success

Apple's product strategy: lessons for businesses

An example of a successful product strategy is the one used by Apple to launch the iPhone. Apple used a successful product strategy when launching the iPhone by targeting consumers who wanted a high-end smartphone with a unique user experience. They set the iPhone apart with its design, user interface, and integration into the Apple product ecosystem which allows continuous growth of market share.

One of Apple's product strategies was to release various models of the iPhone, such as the Mini, Pro, and Pro Max, to target different customer needs and increase their market share in the smartphone industry.

Their marketing and sales strategy included targeted ads, partnerships with carriers, and in-store experiences at Apple stores. This alignment with business goals, understanding of the target market, product differentiation, and effective marketing and sales strategies contributed to the iPhone's success in the smartphone market.

Lessons from Slack's success: the omportance of product strategy

Slack is a successful SaaS company that used a strong product strategy to achieve success. They developed a communication and collaboration platform that allows teams to communicate and work together in real-time. Before launching it publicly, they used it internally to refine the user experience. They identified the need for a more efficient way for teams to communicate and established themselves as a communication hub.

Slack's product strategy is centered on creating a product that users love and scales to fit any environment, with a focus on user experience. They conducted extensive user research and testing to understand their target audience, which included business professionals and teams. They also targeted teams that relied on inefficient communication methods and marketed their platform as a fun work app that unifies people and organize searchable information to save time and productivity. As a result of their targeted approach and strong product strategy, Slack has become a popular choice for teams and is used by companies such as Netflix, Uber, Target, and Intuit, as well as 65 of the Fortune 100 companies.

So you've got your product strategy all set up. What’s next?

Well, the product strategy serves as a guide for the development process, which includes designing, developing, testing and launching the product. To get started, there are a few steps you can take before diving into the development process.

To begin the development process, you should define the scope of your product, choose a technology stack that meets the needs of your project, create a roadmap for the development process with a detailed project plan, and consider your budget. Be sure to include considerations for the UI/UX design and long-term maintenance and support requirements. Use a project management system to stay on track and ensure the success of your project.

If you're a business owner without a background in digital product development, the process of creating a digital product can seem daunting. That's where a digital product agency can really help - they offer a range of services, from consulting to development to marketing, to help you turn your idea into a finished product and get it out into the market. This saves you from having to work with separate software development and marketing agencies.  

That's where we come in. If you're looking for a team of experienced professionals to help bring your digital product ideas to life, don't hesitate to get in touch with us.

Never miss a post! Share it!