The competition among software development products is intense. Multiple new competitors enter the marketplace every day and aim their services at the same audience as you. This means that you should leave no stone unturned when it comes to your product because even the most minor details can either give you the advantage or leave you behind.
Investing continuously in product development will help you stay ahead of the competition, grow your business, and eventually increase your revenue by earning a more significant share of the marketplace.
Of course, to gain the most out of product development, you can’t just rely on ideation processes no matter how good they might be. Having a well-planned product development strategy is crucial. In this article, we’ll go over what a product development strategy is, how you can implement it, and how you can get the most out of it.
What is Product Strategy?
A product development strategy begins with a vision. It requires someone to imagine a better future because their idea solves a fundamental problem in the marketplace. Product strategy is concerned with how you achieve that future state. If you don’t have a future state in mind, your strategy is to repeat whatever you did yesterday. That can’t be a sustainable approach. Although there’s nothing wrong with that per se, in today’s markets, if you don’t have a goal for the future, simply doing what you did yesterday won’t cut it anymore. You have to actively move forward because the market is moving so fast around us that if you don’t dream about that future, you’ll stay behind.
A product development strategy is a process that involves creating products in ways that offer new or additional benefits to the customer. You can accomplish this by carefully setting your goals, researching the market in-depth, and testing and adjusting your plan through all steps.
Certainly, a product development strategy isn’t limited to new products. You need one when you’re modifying existing products as well. This is especially true if you’re adding a new feature or going through a rebranding phase.
In general, a company can use a product development strategy to increase growth, whether their product is new or already in the marketplace, successful or not.
How to Implement a Product Development Strategy
There are several different methods to implement a product strategy, like the IDEO or BAH models. Which one you’ll choose depends on the current needs of your company. Below we’ll divide the process into steps that are easy to understand and implement.
As we saw earlier, it’s important to have a vision of either developing an entirely new product or upgrading the features of one that already exists. During the ideation stage, you aim to develop an early concept after evaluating your competition and determining your target audience. Next, you’ll have to specify how your idea will bring value to them.
During the research phase, you’ll evaluate your idea in relation to existing market trends and your practical capabilities. Furthermore, at this stage, you’ll have to identify challenges and requirements for all possible use cases and create a specification list.
Prototype and Development
After your idea has been evaluated, creating a prototype is the next step. The prototype will help you clarify if your goals are doable and if they suit your target audience. Analysis of your findings and perfecting your prototype are necessary before developing the final product.
Testing and Launch
Prior to its release to a broader audience, the product is presented to a smaller market or focus group, consisted of real-life users. During this testing phase, feedback from the users is gathered, and marketing effectiveness is analyzed. The implementation of your product development strategy enters its final phase when adjustments based on the feedback from users are made. After that, the product is released to the market.
Find out more about these steps in our overview of the seven stages in the new product development process.
Why It’s Important to Have a Strategy
It’s common for many people to focus on successful products, neglecting the fact that there are several unsuccessful ones for every success story. There are ways to avoid this risk, like measuring your goals or reviewing the product’s performance at each stage, but frankly, they aren’t enough by themselves.
A detailed product strategy is important, as it can enable your business to transform an idea into a viable product. It can help you keep it updated to remain competitive, and highlight which aspects of your product need improvement.
By implementing a product development strategy, you can adapt your product to cover the ever-changing needs of your customers. Customer-driven product strategies can help your company identify the most common needs and develop products that can cover them. Staying one step ahead will increase your reputation as an authority figure in your market. Finally, a strong strategy can help you minimize your overall costs and increase your competitiveness. You can achieve this by offering an affordable and high-quality product to your target audience.
Product Development Strategies Examples
Various strategies can help you gain the most out of each step of the process. Below we’ll cover some of the most commonly used and most reliable.
Focusing on making changes that will improve a product that already exists can persuade your customers to buy an upgrade. This strategy aims to discover what kinds of improvements or new features customers need and to move in that direction.
Add Value to the Product Offering
You can add value to a product purchase by including a number of extra perks. Some of them include providing dedicated personnel, premium features, or continuous education around your product. The added benefits might lead to new customer conversions, and even existing customers might be persuaded to buy an upgrade.
Create New Products
The new product strategy is suited for products that aim to provide innovation to an existing market or supplement other products that you might have. To be successful, this strategy requires extensive research beforehand and high expertise.
Adjust the Product
Flexibility and adjustability can be really good development strategies. In cases where a product isn’t reaching its target audience, researching what the market needs and adjusting your product according to the findings can be effective.
Enter a New Market
Getting your product in front of a new market or a different target audience is another strategy to develop your product. This may involve marketing to small businesses instead of individual consumers, aiming at a different age group, or expanding geographically.
How to Staff Product Development
Many companies are switching from handling most tasks in-house to outsourcing to other companies. There are many advantages associated with outsourcing:
- Cost reduction: Your business might not need a full-time employee. With outsourcing, you pay for what you need, and this significantly lowers your costs.
- Specialization: Outsourcing software development tasks to a company that specializes in software products have a lot more experience in the industry and consists of several professionals who can provide a much higher level of expertise than having a full-time developer.
- The economy of scale: An outsourcing company can do certain things more efficiently because they do many of them. With outsourcing, you also get access to processes and tools that experts have already tested and used.
Net Solutions is a company that develops digital products and platforms. They can help you take your project off the ground affordably. At the same time, you enjoy all the benefits of an outsourcing partner.
Do you have a web or mobile app project in mind? Get in touch to make your project a reality.
Having a great existing product or a great idea for something innovative is a good start, but it’s not enough. Especially within the technology market, changes are constant, and it takes a lot of effort to keep up with the competition. A product development strategy can help you turn your idea into a solid product and adjust existing products to remain competitive. Teaming up with a partner who possesses a deep knowledge of the industry can help you accelerate the process without facing unnecessary pain points.