Product Strategy: Building Something New
RetailMeNot fmr Product VP on Product Strategy (Part 3)
As product managers, we all love building new things. However, these great ideas won’t come to fruition unless you develop a product strategy that enables them to become a reality. That said, developing new products and related strategies doesn’t only happen from scratch. In my career, I’ve been fortunate to work at businesses who leveraged their category leadership to expand their product offering into new applications.
The bottom line is that building a new product solution doesn’t require you to completely get away from your core values. For example, every successful product solves a specific pain point for customers. When considering new opportunities for product expansion, your first question should be “is this product and solution applicable in other industries?”
In many ways, this type of product strategy development will appear to be a no-brainer.
One of the most celebrated examples of this natural progression is Amazon. In the beginning, Amazon started out as an online retailer for books. Can you remember which product they added next? The answer is music (specifically CDs – remember those?).
Simply put, Amazon’s infrastructure and fulfillment techniques for books were perfectly suited for purchasing music. As a result, this development expanded the company’s available offering to customers with minimal friction on the product strategy side.
During my time at Retailmenot, I experienced a similar “natural progression” in our product strategy. From the beginning, Retailmenot offered coupon codes for purchases and discount codes for shipping. Over time, we added cash back offers as another product offering for our customers.
While this represented a big product decision and shift in focus, it was a seamless shift in our product strategy. Just like Amazon, we had the necessary infrastructure and fulfillment capabilities to add these products to our platform.