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Product strategy is a cornerstone of any successful business and essential for any product manager looking to create a successful product and for marketers looking to promote and grow adoption of the product. At its core, product strategy is creating a roadmap for your product, outlining the goals you hope to achieve and the steps you need to take to get there.
Below, we provide an in-depth definition of product strategy, a framework for creating your own product strategy, and an example of effective product strategy.
What is product strategy?
Product strategy is determining what products and services your company will offer and how those products and services will be positioned in the market. It's about understanding your customers, identifying their needs, and designing a product that meets them better than anyone else. At its core, product strategy is about outsmarting your competitors and delivering value to your customers.
Product strategy framework
Creating a product strategy requires a framework that outlines the steps needed to define and execute a successful strategy. Amplitude, a data analytics company, offers a product strategy framework comprising three components: vision, objectives, and roadmap.
- Vision: The vision component of a product strategy is focused on where you want your product to be in the long run and what impact you hope it will create in the world. This requires a deep understanding of your customer base and the problems to be solved. The vision should be connected to your company's overall mission and values and resonate with your target market.
- Objectives: Objectives define the specific goals you hope to achieve with your product. They should be clear, measurable, and aligned with your overall vision. Objectives should be broken down into key results (KRs) that clearly define metrics for success. This OKR framework component is critical for keeping your team aligned and focused on the end goal.
- Roadmap: Finally, the roadmap component of the product strategy framework is where you outline the steps you will take to achieve your objectives. The roadmap should be a living document, updated regularly to align with customer feedback and market changes. It should also be flexible and adaptable, allowing you to pivot as needed to achieve your goals.
Effective product strategy example: Apple
The best way to understand product strategy is to look at an example of successful strategies in action. A company that has utilized effective product strategies is Apple.
Apple's product strategy focuses on creating hardware and devices that are intuitive and easy to use. These products' physical designs and packaging are very sleek and attractive. Apple's vision is to create products that are elegant and simple – products that work. They aim to make faster, more powerful, and more capable devices than their competitors. Apple achieves this by investing heavily in research and development and creating a cohesive ecosystem of products that work seamlessly together. Finally, their product development roadmap focuses on constantly improving existing products and introducing new ones to the market. Their launch events are often well-planned and monumental.
In conclusion, product strategy involves understanding customer needs and creating a roadmap of goals that can be achieved by offering products, services, or features within your product or service that meet those customers' needs. This includes defining customer segments, researching competitors, setting objectives and KPIs, developing strategies and tactics, executing plans, measuring results, and refining strategies over time. For more, and with this product strategy guide as a starting point, you can learn how to create a robust product strategy for your business.