On this week’s Product Talk, host Nikki Ahmadi sits down with one of the top Strategists to ever walk the halls of tech. With a career spanning over 20 years serving in roles like Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer and advising companies like Disney, Google, Nike, and Verizon as the head of Lina Group, Theresa Lina is the go-to for businesses looking to raise their competitive strategy. Listen to the entire episode above and swing through the highlights below to gain stellar insights on market strategy.

On the challenges of building a competitive strategy

While the world of tech may seem to live solely in the 21st century, the strategies for bringing products to market have much older roots. Theresa starts off the discussion noting the history of competitive strategy and the challenges product leaders commonly face along the way.

“The way in which customers adopt something new, or the way a market adopts something new, is actually a quite old concept. It was covered in a lot of academic papers through the 20s, 30s, up to the 50s, and got codified into a book in the 1960s, called Diffusion of Innovation. It’s a concept that is heavily used in the technology sector.”

“One of the biggest issues I see is a lack of understanding of market adoption dynamics. It’s important to understand this so that you can figure out how to target not only certain markets, but also certain segments of the market. Most people will choose a market, they’ll segment it, but then they’ll treat all segments equally. They’ll just use different messaging, or they might go after them in a different sequence. Even within that segment, though, you have to really pay attention to what the different buyer profiles are and which ones to go after.”

On becoming the “go-to” in a specific market segment

In her best selling strategy book, “Be The Go-To”, Theresa lays out how product leaders can truly dominate a market, pulling from her impressive experience in leading competitive strategy. In this episode of Product Talk she dives deeper into the concept, sharing what it truly takes to be top of mind in a market segment.

“I see a lot of companies don’t even think about wanting to be the dominant name. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have the most market share across a broad market, which is what we tend to think of when we think of “dominant”. Being the “Go-To” means that you are the first name that comes to mind when somebody in your market thinks of a certain problem, issue, or challenge they’re trying to address.”

“The big goal here is sustainable, profitable growth. Being the Go-To means being perceived as providing such superior value that customers will happily pay healthy prices because the value exceeds the cost of what it is they’re buying from you. That’s a very important concept. Ultimately, your goal, and becoming the Go-To, is to position yourself for healthy margins that sustain you over time, allowing you to keep investing in improving your company, improving your products, and staying ahead of everybody else out in the market.”

Listen to the entire episode above right here at Products That Count, and make sure to subscribe on Apple and Spotify below to catch all the product conversation. Also, don’t forget to register to join us at the 2021 Product Awards to get a front-row seat at who is winning in product.

About the host
Nikki Ahmadi Universal Electronics, Director of Product - Cloud & Software

Nikki is a cloud and software product Director who works with a global team of talented engineers and architects in designing and implementing innovative solutions from product inception to production. After spending over a decade working in product engineering and management for multimillion dollar technology and start-up companies, Nikki believes what truly drives innovation is not only a commitment to technological breakthroughs but also people’s passion in improving everyday lives by building products that leave a lasting impact, disrupt the industry, and are vehicles of change, while providing the best user experience. When Nikki isn’t working on her next big product release or entrepreneurial endeavors she is spending much needed time with friends and family discussing the latest politics, or simply the meaning of life. She’s an adventurous traveler who also enjoys capturing moments through photography. Nikki also holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering , M.S. in Electrical Engineering and has a corporate innovation certificate as part of the LEAD program.

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