Product Management – from cradle to grave

Are you in a situation where you are growing your business, organically or through acquisitions? Potentially you have realized that you have a need to become more strategic in terms of how you translate your vision and strategic focus, to your near term and future product and communication plans. You might be in a situation where you have a need to revisit parts of, or the whole process of how you define your opportunities, develop your products and communication plans and how you execute. XploreBiz can help you in all, or parts of this work.


Typically how XploreBiz would go about addressing this type of challenge could be the following;

The Why?

  • Start with defining or revisiting the strategic plan. What is the field of play the company wants to be in? What are the various relevant trends? Which are the target customer groups and what do we need to learn more about them? Then we need to draw conclusions regarding the industry; product categories, pricing and competitive set. Based on all these inputs, we will then be able to form or update a strategic market plan. This plan will then be the guiding light when choosing which product opportunities and which communication messages we will deliver.

The What?

  • The second step in the process is to define the customer opportunities. How we approach this in detail, depends on what type of product business we are in, B2B or B2C and the degree of maturity of the market. It is however always essential to understand and prioritize the needs of the users, map how different trends can alter these needs and priorities. To understand how competition is potentially addressing these needs today is also key when developing a structured approach regarding how you decide which needs to address with your products.
  • In a next step, when we have zoomed in the customer opportunity, we move into working out different ideas or concepts regarding how we address this opportunity. In the concept creation phase we bring together people with competence in engineering, design, business and marketing to cover all aspects at an early stage and to make sure all stakeholders have the same understanding of which user needs we are addressing. The aim is to at the end of the day end up with a product with unique advantages that are important to the customers and differentiated vs competition. At this point it should also have been verified that it is technically feasible to produce and commercially viable.

The How and When?

  • When we are in the product development phase, we work closely together between the engineering, design and business dimensions making the relevant trade off decisions in order to ensure the objectives in terms of product cost, timelines, quality and uniqueness are reached. XploreBiz can help you to define/refine a process that is relevant for your product development work.
  • In parallell with developing the product, we work with developing the communication platform. There are many benefits from having these two parts of preparing for a launch being done in parallel. It means a faster time to market, we make sure both parts are immediately updated with ongoing changes from decisions made and it is certain that what is highlighted in the communication is also what is implemented in the product.
  • When the product, or the range of products are ready to go into production, the Point Of Sales materials is ready, translations are in place, the web is up and running and local adaptations are in place – we are ready to move into implementation mode. XploreBiz can help you to document this process so that you can have as efficient as possible a process when you are planning for an international role out of a new product.
  • Once the product, or range of products, is launched, focus should be shifted towards what is happening in the market place. Is the price positioning right? Does the mix of marketing tools and activities support the business objectives as intended? Does the predefined range of products specifications work well in all markets or are there adaptations that need to be made? Range management will be an ongoing task until phase out, in order to make sure the range is as efficient and as relevant as possible.

 

Depending on your current situation and priorities, one or several of the above mentioned steps can be of value for you to address. XploreBiz has significant experience in the field of product management, B2C and B2B. During a growth oriented stage (organic or inorganic) finding the right strategy for how to incorporate a growing number of product opportunity areas in as efficient as possible a way, without adding unnecessary complexity and risk whilst being customer driven can be a very important factor.

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