How to Weaponize Your Product Innovation Strategy

For most businesses, product strategy is one of their most valuable assets. It can make or break a company, but it can also be something that can be taken for granted. Oftentimes, executives will forget that what has worked for them in the past won’t always work in the future, thus losing their customers to a competitor affordable skeleton watch .

Creating a winning product strategy is all about anticipating your customer’s needs and then fulfilling them. You need to be able to effectively come up with and develop creative solutions that will set you above your competition. Here is how you build a strategy that can keep your customers with you and take your business to new heights:

Stop focusing on activities.

In general, companies focus on activities because they are something that is tangible and measurable. They can be controlled and they offer a sense of accomplishment. However, in the world of product strategy, activities should not be your focus. Your focus should be on creating value for your customer based on their unmet needs. In order to do this, however, you need to focus on what needs segments exist. Because so many companies have management that doesn’t agree on what these needs are in the first place, it can be difficult to come up with a cohesive strategy.

Have a clear understanding of your customers’ job-to-be-done.

In order to create a product that meets the needs of your customer, you need to understand what their job-to-be-done is. This means that you need to understand what they are hiring your product or company to do for them. While this may sound simple, it is often overlooked and companies end up focusing on the features of their products instead of how those things can help customers accomplish a job that needs doing.

Create a strategy around the customer.

What many fail to realize is that in order to create a winning product strategy, you need to start with the customer and reverse-engineer the process. This means that you must have a clear understanding of their desired outcomes, or what they expect from your product. Differentiation and competitive advantage are not derived from business activities or products, but rather the ability to effectively do this.

This involves doing some detective work. You have to find scalable ways to conduct user and market research like focus groups, surveys, and clickstream analysis to find out what your customers want. This is the only way that you will be able to come up with a strategy for how you can solve their problems better than anyone else.

For more information on developing a customer-centric innovation strategy, check out this article from Strategyn:

Foster a culture of innovation.

Innovation and product strategy go hand-in-hand. In fact, innovation is required in order to come up with new ways for you to meet the unmet needs of your customers better than anyone else can. This requires an environment where creativity and problem-solving are not only encouraged but rewarded as well. Some things that you can do to create a culture of innovation for your employees are:

  • Offer a variety of rewards, not just financial ones
  • Encourage risk-taking
  • Reward creativity and idea-sharing
  • Make it easy for employees to experiment with new ideas

As you can see, there are many things that go into creating a winning product strategy. It is something that should not be taken lightly and should be given the proper time and attention in order to ensure that it is done right. By following these steps, you will find yourself on your way to creating a product strategy that can help take your company’s success much further minimalist watches.