Why you need a product strategy to create great products

Why you need a clear product strategy for creating great products

When it comes to product development, relying solely on data analysis and user feedback can lead you down a path of incremental improvements, but it often falls short of delivering truly great products.

This approach is akin to navigating a complex labyrinth with a flashlight that only illuminates a few steps ahead.

To create products that resonate deeply with users and stand out in the market, a clear product strategy is indispensable.

The limitations of data and user input

Data and user feedback are invaluable tools in understanding market trends, user preferences, and pain points. However, they primarily reflect the present or past scenarios. Data can tell you what is happening, but not necessarily why it’s happening or what should happen next.

Users often know what they want now, but might not envision future possibilities or emerging needs.

Innovation often comes from reading between the lines, from understanding not just what users say they want, but why they want it and what they might want if they knew it was possible.

“People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

Steve Jobs

This statement underscores the idea that breakthrough innovations often come from a vision that extends beyond current user feedback and data analysis.

The power of a product strategy

A product strategy serves as a guiding star. It aligns your team’s efforts with the company’s overall vision and goals. This strategy should encompass:

  1. Understanding Your Audience: Beyond demographics, this means diving deep into their behaviors, motivations, and unmet needs. What are their goals and drivers?
  2. Defining Clear Objectives: What are the specific problems your product aims to solve? How does it fit into the broader market context? What makes sense to focus and compete with?
  3. Prioritizing Based on Goals: Every feature or improvement should be measured against how well it serves the strategic objectives. What is required to create a “complete” product?
  4. Mapping the Customer Journey: Recognize the various touchpoints and experiences your users have with your product, and optimize for a cohesive journey.

Balancing vision with practicality

While a visionary approach is vital, it must be balanced with practicality. The best product strategies are those that can be executed within the constraints of time, budget, and resources.

This is where the concept of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) becomes crucial. An MVP allows you to test your vision in the real world, gather feedback, and iterate, all without overcommitting resources.

Also read Creating a concept for an app: The journey from idea to MVP

A strategic vision is key to great product development

Data and user feedback are critical components of product development, but they are not sufficient on their own.

A clear product strategy provides the direction needed to create innovative and impactful products.

It helps you understand not just what users are saying, but what they truly need, often before they know it themselves.

With a solid strategy, a deep understanding of your users, and a focus on practical execution, you can create products that truly make a difference.