Establishing a Product Strategy – Asking the Right Questions

Acton, MA-based entrepreneur Rob Maille founded product strategy company Makibie in 2006. He leads a small team of creative thinkers to help clients such as DataGravity, TurnRight, and OnePoint develop designs and strategies for their products. Rob Maille created the six pillars to serve as the tent poles of product strategy and design.

The six pillars as established by Makibie refer to the tenets on which successful products are built. Those pillars are purpose, clients, identity, competition, business, and solution. All pillars depend on a strong product vision, synonymous with product strategy and defined as a roadmap that begins at the product’s conceptualization and continues through release and customer feedback.

A good product strategy requires businesses to answer several questions: What are they selling? What value does the product provide customers? How will the product be priced and distributed? To answer each of these questions, focus on nailing down a specific demographic. For example, photo-editing software would be marketed to either professionals, amateurs, or a middle-of-the-road crowd. The product’s value should lie in powerful yet easy-to-use tools that make editing photos quick and painless. Pricing would depend on whether the product caters more to amateurs or professionals, but distribution would almost certainly be digital.

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