Strategy Video Series: Episode 03
Product Strategy

 
 
 
Strategy: Episode 03 Transcript

Hi, I’m Bonnie Janzen with Decision Analyst, and we’re going to be talking today about product strategy, and how this helps you get a product roadmap for your organization, for the product, or the product line that you’re working on. And really, it’s about how we’re going to be using consumer insights to help you in that process.

So, the product roadmap is essentially the product and the product releases that you plan to have for your organization as the product goes forward, and it’s really helping you to understand what this target audience cares about. So, it’s really important to understand in-depth what is important to the target audience as it relates to this product or service that you have, and so you can’t be all things to all people, obviously.

  • Questions for Product Strategy Roadmap
    So you have to focus in on what’s most important. So, it’s really important to help understand what is the discovery process initially for your consumers or your customer base? How did they first come into the product category or the product? How did they discover it? What was the path to purchase? Was it something that they learned from their parents? Was it something they discovered in college, etc.? And kind of how that path to purchase really came about.

    And so, as we go through the in-depth, typically qualitative research, we will be discovering that. And it’s also really important for us to understand what they’re trying to achieve with the product. What are the key drivers? What are their unmet needs? How are they using the product? What are the other things that they’re using along with the product? And the more we understand about that, the better we are able to lay out this product roadmap for the future. And the roadmap also really helps us keep the product alive.
 

So, if a product just is created and sitting on the shelf and nothing is happening with it over time, the product tends to lose favor with consumers and just kind of dies on the vine, per se.

And when we talk about brand strategy, it can be brand strategy for the corporation itself. For example, let’s talk about Procter and Gamble; the company owns hundreds of brands, and each one has a strategy, and a marketing plan to support it, and I’m sure there’s also a marketing plan, or a branding strategy for the umbrella corporate name “Procter and Gamble.” So the corporate is a brand too, [and] the company name is a brand. So that’s a different strategy, and each individual brand owned by that company has its own strategy.

So, this allows us to innovate, have new ideas, have new variations, new line extensions, over the course [of time], but not just kind of meandering around. It actually has a strategy and plan to it. So, it’s... the components will be the design, the features, the functionality, the quality, the pricing, the positioning, the branding, all the key components for your product going forward. And so, again, we’ll start with a really in-depth qualitative: it can be shop-alongs; it can be ethnography; it can be a whole host of different qualitative techniques.

Then, we will move into a more quantitative phase of research where we’re really going to be able to show the consumer, or the customer, either a shelf set or, potentially, what they would see at Amazon or some kind of online shopping, where all the trade-offs will happen. This can be done in a conjoint or discrete choice, and they will be able to see what what is realistically available in the marketplace. So, again, these are the changes that we would make to the product over time, and [this produces] the roadmap that the product will be experiencing over time.

So, there are a couple of things that we need to be careful of. The first is to kind of, watch out for what happens to the target market definition over time? Obviously, we want to continue bringing more people into our target market. We certainly don’t want to have the target market shrinking over time to where we have perhaps a very loyal target market following, but it’s getting smaller, and smaller, and smaller. So, that’s important for us to watch out for. It’s also important for us to look at the big mega trends, or the trends in the industry. If you’re in food, you may be looking at; what are the trends in terms of vegetarian versus meat? What are the trends in terms of localization versus globalization? And really thinking about those color trends, etc. So, you’ll want to keep all those things in mind too over time as you work through the product strategy.

  • Overall Goals of Product Roadmap
    And, again, the whole idea with the product strategy is to continue to have a product that your consumers love; to have something that you can innovate around; and then also to block competition; and to continue to raise your margins over time; and hopefully your customers will continue to love your product and you’ll have a long life-cycle for your product line. Thank you for joining us.
 

Contact Decision Analyst

If you would like more information on Strategy Research, or if you have any questions, or about the videos, please contact Bonnie Janzen by emailing bjanzen@decisionanalyst.com or calling 1-817-640-6166.

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