The three Important Product Technique Parts

The event of a product technique doesn’t have to be advanced to be efficient. And but, in twenty years as a product supervisor, I’ve frequently encountered companies that overcomplicate it and wind up navigating a maze of competing goals and pointless necessities. These experiences led me to develop a framework, comprising three driving forces, that can assist steer any product technique.

I not too long ago utilized this to nice success when working with a shopper within the automotive trade. The ensuing technique led us to create a very new product line and a $2 million improve in income within the first 12 months.

The fantastic thing about this framework lies in its simplicity and flexibility: It may be applied by product managers in any trade to streamline their product course of and obtain the identical success for his or her purchasers or corporations.

The Driving Forces of a Product Technique

My framework is loosely based mostly on a company technique principle developed by Tregoe and Zimmerman known as “the driving forces,” which asserts that the driving power is the principle purpose for an organization’s existence, setting the course of all efforts and influencing all selections within the group. The 9 potential driving forces that may information a enterprise are:

An image showing nine icons labeled with Tregoe and Zimmerman’s 9 driving forces of corporate strategy: products, market, technology, production capability, method of  sale, method of distribution, natural resources, size/growth, return/profit.

In accordance with Tregoe and Zimmerman, the driving power of any group may be decided by answering a easy query: When selections are made concerning the course of an organization, which one of many 9 areas is most closely weighted? After learning this company technique framework, I noticed it will also be utilized to merchandise.

There could also be many advanced theories on the market, however there ought to solely be three drivers of product technique. In contrast to Tregoe and Zimmerman’s principle, it’s not a matter of selecting one—somewhat, they work collectively, and a product technique wants to deal with all three of those forces to achieve success: market want, capabilities, and fame.

A stable product technique requires three important parts. With out firm fame (A), the product just isn’t trusted. With out market want (B), the product won’t be in demand. With out capabilities (C), the product can’t be made.

1. Market Want

The primary of the three drivers is market want. This consists of higher serving an present want, uncovering an unknown want, or creating a brand new want.

  • Higher serving an present want. Uber and Lyft are good examples of this. They took the taxi-service trade and located a brand new, extra environment friendly approach to meet each driver and buyer necessities.
  • Uncovering an unknown want. A agency I labored with developed a safety digicam that would view a complete room in nice element and supply immediate notification of unauthorized exercise. This was not one thing the trade had been asking for, since nobody had conceived a product like this was potential to create.
  • Creating a brand new want. The iPhone created a platform for functions that make our lives simpler, and in doing so, created a shopper want for these functions. Complete companies at the moment are launched to serve these new calls for.

Enterprise colleges educate a number of strategies that purpose to uncover and outline the wants of your market, such because the jobs-to-be-done technique. Whereas these may be useful, ask your self the next inquiries to develop and information your new product concepts:

In case you determined to get rid of your present product line in six months, what affect would which have in your prospects?

Reply this query actually, even when it forces you to just accept a actuality you don’t need to confront. If there could be little affect, you then shouldn’t take into account increasing this product line, because it seems to supply no distinctive worth to the market and could be simply changed by rivals’ merchandise. Alternatively, when you assume eliminating it may trigger a surge in orders as prospects snap up the remaining inventory, then your product line is effective and you would take into account increasing it.

Is your new product going to disrupt the market or solely create a ripple on the floor?

In case your product is barely going to trigger a ripple, providing no important enchancment to what prospects can already purchase (and possibly have already got), then you could take into account whether or not you need to pursue it in any respect. Low-revenue product strains can quickly change into a drain on income.

In case you envision that your product will disrupt the market, does your agency have the monetary and talent assets to maintain this affect? If not, then you’ll create a market that your rivals may exploit. I not too long ago labored with a shopper who put a big portion of its R&D assets into creating a cutting-edge video and optic product. The issue was that the corporate didn’t have sufficient assets to proceed this growth and enhance older merchandise that have been performing poorly available in the market. Whereas the brand new product breathed life right into a faltering firm, permitting it to stay viable for 3 or 4 extra years, a number of rivals launched extra superior options inside a 12 months, and the agency couldn’t enhance its product to maintain up with them.

What would occur when you have been to delay the discharge of a brand new product by a number of months with a view to make it extra superior?

Balancing timing and alternative is on the coronary heart of a great product roadmap. In case your roadmap is efficient, you’ll be able to get rid of the price of future product growth cycles. Beforehand, by spending barely extra time and assets designing a product, I enabled it to remain available in the market for an extra 12 to 18 months, eliminating the necessity for a complete product growth cycle and giving us a head begin on the competitors, whereas rising the per-unit price by lower than 10%.

2. Capabilities

The second driving power is capabilities. You want to concentrate on each the capabilities which are out there to you now and those who may very well be acquired. The minimal capabilities to think about are: technical, manufacturing, and distribution.

Analyzing these three features of what you are promoting, and making adequate investments in any areas the place you might be at the moment missing, will assist maintain your product technique. That is how one can make sure you obtain essential mass in every of the next key areas:


With out this functionality, your growth workforce won’t be able to create the product. This will appear apparent, however in my expertise it’s typically ignored. You must determine the precise abilities wanted to your venture, and guarantee every workforce member has related, demonstrable experience and success. This assurance may come from constructive testimonials from earlier managers or colleagues, or information of initiatives and merchandise. If your organization lacks assets, these roles are straightforward to outsource.


In case your product entails {hardware} and the manufacturing unit you’ve chosen just isn’t able to constructing it in adequate portions or with the mandatory high quality, you might be jeopardizing your success available in the market. Once more, this may occasionally appear apparent to an skilled chief, however is value reiterating.

The standards you need to take note of when evaluating potential producers and suppliers are: expertise constructing related merchandise within the acceptable volumes, a sturdy high quality management and product audit operate, and monetary and stock phrases and situations which are appropriate to your line of enterprise.


And not using a stable distribution system or community, you won’t be able to assist the calls for of your prospects. That is an space you have to concentrate on, however relying on the corporate, there could also be little {that a} single product line can do to impact important change as a result of distribution agreements are sometimes made at greater and broader ranges.

What you are able to do is create a holistic gross sales, customer support, and technical assist program that ensures these groups are absolutely versed within the product, in order that they will assist prospects the place potential. I’ve partnered with purchasers many occasions to develop such applications.

Is it potential to your product to achieve success if what you are promoting just isn’t sturdy in all three areas I’ve offered? Sure—the aim right here is to concentrate on any weaknesses and competent sufficient in every space to attain your goals.

3. Status

The ultimate driving power of a profitable product technique is the corporate’s fame. Status impacts the success of your product in two methods: the moral and ethical conduct of the corporate, and the corporate’s experience in a specific space. Whereas the previous is addressed on the govt degree, your organization’s space of experience guides the course of your product technique.

If your organization has an awesome fame for creating excellent metal parts for the plane trade, for instance, then transferring into titanium components is a flip that your prospects will perceive. If, nevertheless, your organization determined to begin providing digital parts for home bike producers, its fame within the plane trade could not observe it into this space or bear any weight there. The success of the gross sales, advertising and marketing, and distribution channels relies on their reputation with prospects. Including a brand new market wherein they’re unknown to prospects is a big hurdle to beat.

Because the product supervisor, one step you’ll be able to take to enhance your possibilities of success is to investigate your organization’s fame from an outsider’s standpoint. You are able to do this in various methods, however begin by studying press releases, listening to traders’ suggestions, collaborating together with your advertising and marketing or buyer groups to assemble information on complaints and requests, researching on-line evaluations, and even inviting buyer responses to your new product thought.

Kick-start Your Product Journey

You possibly can deploy this framework at present to achieve—or regain—momentum in a product line’s income and profitability. Used at first of your shopper engagements, these product technique parts will information each your discussions with leaders and your individual decision-making as you begin placing collectively a cohesive and actionable product plan.

When creating your product technique, keep in mind the broader objectives and imaginative and prescient of the corporate itself. Any product plan should absolutely assist the company technique and be aligned with its ambition—the synergy of the 2 will additional the success of the product line.

Market want, capabilities, and fame: With simply these three driving forces, you’ll be able to start shaping a strong and efficient technique, producing the concepts wanted to strengthen your product providing and, subsequently, the enterprise as an entire.