Basic Strategy Model
When I taught my class, the basic strategy model was:
- Where should we go? Using market analysis & competitive analysis, financial plans, and success metrics.
- Why will we be successful there? Using core competencies, mission, and competitive differentiation.
- Market Segment Analysis (percentage of company sales, percentage of industry sales, market attractiveness, size, growth rate, etc.)
- Basic Competitive Analysis (including competitive analysis via advertised positioning)
- Competitive Analysis Alternatives (direct competitors, substitutes, etc.)
This analysis can help you make decisions both about a specific product and about investments across a product line or portfolio.
Product Portfolio Decisions
Other frameworks that help you make your portfolio investment strategy decisions include Porter's Five Forces for Market Competitiveness
- New Product vs. Mature Product
- New Market vs. Existing Market
- Short Term vs. Long Term Revenue
- Usage vs. Revenue
- Client A vs. Client B
- Research vs. Development
- High Risk vs. Low Risk
Agile Product Strategists
As stated in the Product Frameworks blog post, with the advent of Agile methodologies another viewpoint is that product strategy activities are owned by Product Strategists (External Facing Agile Product Managers):
- Understand market needs and competitors offerings
- Talk with customers; work closely with Sales, Marketing, Services and Product Marketing
- Position product and create roadmap
- Own launches, pricing, beta programs, and product revenue
- Consider next major release and next MRD
An even more recent take on product strategy is what is prescribed for start-ups by Eric Ries in Lean Startup (Amazon, Medium, Wikipedia)
An MVP for a proposed solution or product should be quickly defined and then actionable (not vanity) metrics should be used to quickly iterate and incrementally improve a product for a better product market fit (Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop). The two most important assumptions are the value hypothesis and the growth hypothesis. Your MVP will have to be geared towards early adopters who understand the kinks haven’t been completely worked out for your innovative product.