Building your first product can often seem like a daunting task. Unfamiliar legal territory, technical issues…there are a number of pitfalls that can befall product strategy.
A good product strategy will help you organize your product planning and research, capture your customer’s views and expectations and also plan and resource the project.
It will, in essence, help you from overestimating and misreading your target market, launch a poorly designed and priced product that fails to meet the expectations of the customer and rein in on spending on unnecessary resources.
Here are five do’s and don’ts that you need to keep in mind while developing a product strategy:
Do give adequate time:
Allow your teams to adequately develop and implement your new products. Keep dates on the roadmap as broad as possible so that you have some buffer in case your development teams are wrong in their estimated timeframes or you have to account for some kind of market correction.
Lean, mean and scalable are the major points that the team should keep in mind.
Do make a high-level product roadmap:
Just capture the basic story/theme that can be grasped at a glance. If you write that in detail, readers will lose interest and unnecessary clutter will create confusion; don’t just focus on features.
You may want to develop multiple versions of your roadmap scaled to suit different types and risk levels of the project.
Also Read: Startup Founders, Don’t Sell Yourself Short
Do research your competitors:
Undertake a thorough competitive review. Identifying your competitors’ product offerings, price points, marketing tactics and brand strategies is imperative to ascertain your competitive advantage and what makes your brand unique.
It will be necessary to pre-screen product ideas that will take into account your top 3 competitors’ innovations, their approach to the market and how they benefit the end customer etc.
Don’t only consider a price-focused strategy:
Pricing strategies are a part of the marketing mix. While it is appropriate in some cases, it can be very disruptive to the market and the toughest to reverse. A product strategy focused only on price can be risky as customers can become very fickle when it comes to price.
Don’t develop the product as a response to poor sales as it is then a reactionary approach. It is not addressing the root issue. Do define the target market properly and make sure you include prototype testing.
Determine cost top-down:
It is virtually impossible to get the correct estimates from the team. Instead, determine how many people with what skills are likely to be required to create the desired releases on the roadmap.
The cost estimating process begins by breaking the project down into smaller planning chunks of work phases like the design and technical testing. The estimated costs can be recurring and non-recurring.
However, the cost of the project is measured by estimating how much labor will go into each piece of the job, where the set cost of the labor category is multiplied by each relevant task.
The top-down approach requires a history and knowledge of project pricing for an accurate estimation.
An effective product strategy is strongly linked to the success of your business. So, it is essential to keep reviewing and updating your product roadmap.