Low-Velocity Products: What’s Your Frequency?

This may seem a little odd, but I’m going to start by asking a question about something you (hopefully) have used multiple times today. The question is – did you use your toothbrush? Again, hopefully your answer is yes (and if not, please feel free to start brushing now!). Now, you’re probably asking – what does that question have to do with discussing low-velocity products?

Simply put, the answer is that the frequency with which a product is used has a profound effect on how you manage its deployment/features/etc. Furthermore, I think it’s important to use the term frequency when talking about usage rather than velocity. For example, if you talk to an engineer, they might say “we’re shipping new features all the time – we’re a high-velocity product.” In reality, the most important factor for product managers to consider for low-velocity products is how often they are used by end consumers.

Along these lines, I’m sure you’re starting to think about your own products. In other words, do I support a product that is high-frequency or low-frequency?

For me, I like to think about it in terms of calendar-based frequency. For example, we use social media and email several hundred times daily. Pretty safe to say that these are high-frequency products, right? Said differently, these are products that are habit-forming. Ultimately, your daily routine always includes engagement with these platforms in some form.

Going down one more level, you have products that fall into the annual usage category. For example, this includes services like H&R Block or Geico. Unlike the higher-frequency product mentioned earlier, these annual/semi-annual products and services are not habit-forming. In other words, you may consider using a different tax service every year or may switch auto insurance carriers. As a result, it’s critical for these teams to focus on long-term retention and ways to engage users when they’re not actively using the product during critical times.

Once you get past the annual usage bracket, the “worst kind” of  low-velocity products move into the forgettable zone.

Simply put, these are products that people have to use because they have to be there. But, they don’t want to necessarily want to be there when using the product. For example, this can involve buying a car or buying a house – or if you like even more fun, planning a wedding or buying life insurance!

In summary, none of these services or associated decisions are fun or sexy. However, these products serve people to make highly-consequential decisions that are often complex and very expensive. So, while low-velocity products may not be interesting on the surface, there are a lot of details and plenty of nuances to unpack in making successful products for these high-stakes decisions.

Click here for Part 2

Click here for Part 3

About the speaker
Elissa Kline Point, Product Lead Member
Provide your rating for this post
If you liked this post, please use the buttons to the left to share it with a friend or post it on social media. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Read more

Innovating With Low-Velocity Products

There's plenty of room to innovate with low-velocity products - solving complex problems with innovative approaches for customers.

Low-Velocity Products: Simplifying Complex Problems

Managing users and keeping them engaged is a significant challenge for product managers who focus on low-velocity products.

Product Velocity: Alignment Avalanche!

Creating product velocity is a function of creating alignment within your team to ensure that everyone is working toward the same goals.

Product Velocity: Get Feedback!

Getting feedback from your customers and internal stakeholders will ensure that you can sustain momentum generated from new product velocity.

Change.org Product VP on Driving Product Velocity

Driving product velocity requires analysis of features that aren't delivering at max capacity, eliminating them to focus on what's working

/ Register for Free

Don’t be left behind in your career. Join a growing community of over 500K Product professionals committed to building great products. Register for FREE today and get access to :

  • All eBooks
  • All Infographics
  • Product Award resources
  • Search for other members

Coming soon for members only: personalized content, engagement, and networking.