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No time like the present

There’s never been a better time to revisit your product strategy in a market disrupted by the global pandemic.

While it’s always good practice for a business to be validating and improving its product’s value proposition with their chosen market segment, the necessity to do so has rarely been as strong as now.

Disruption

Things have changed. Industries have changed. Organisations have changed.

Many are fighting for survival. Some are seeing massive demand from new, unexpected quarters. Many of the trends already present, like flexible working, High St to on-line, the move away from cash, have accelerated rapidly. Other new trends are only just starting to show themselves. The Economist has spotted a few.

  • How has your customer base changed?
  • If you’re seeing a fall/rise in sales, what are the customers’ motivation for this?
  • Are they now more concerned with a different problem to solve?
  • How does your product shape up in solving their new, worst pain point?

Discovery

Discovering the answer to these is key to picking your new value proposition for a redefined market segment. And it’s likely you’ll need to look behind what they say to what they need or want. I’m reminded of how post the 2008 banking crisis, banks looked to cut costs and closed branches. So called “branch transformation”, the idea was to continue to offer products and services through smart telling machines and to improve user experience despite the loss of helpful staff. But in reality cost-cutting trumped customer service. So any solution that improved the customer experience, by however much, that didn’t cut costs was very unlikely to get adopted. In most cases, rather than being upgraded, the ATMs got cut too. See recent FT article. And why I recommended RealVNC pull their ATM remote customer support offering and focus on other products customers valued.

During and post pandemic what are your customers key care-abouts? Which customers are on the up, growing and have budget to spend? Perhaps government backed areas such as health, education and infrastructure or VC-backed tech and digital businesses with a 3/5 year plan not reliant on this year’s sales?

New Product Strategy

In 5 years time we’ll be looking at many new successful enterprises that took their opportunity from today’s disruption and market changes. Don’t be a dinosaur, be a mammal.

Now might well be the time for a new and compelling product strategy in a disrupted market.

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