A few weeks ago, I was approached by a potential client who wanted to build a complex digital product that was geared to reach masses (sounds familiar?). I recommended that this project should start with a “Digital Product Strategy”, however, they balked at the idea and wanted to quickly move into a simple website to gain early attraction. So, where do you start? Should they build a simple website to test waters and gain attraction or dive into a product strategy? Here at Elementz, we would always start with a product strategy and here is why every project should begin with a clearly defined digital product strategy.
What is a Digital Product Strategy Anyways?
A digital product strategy is essential the first step to take before designing and then developing a mobile app or a complex software platform. In the old days, business analysts would spend months writing a spec document, before engaging in a software project. But this old methodology is flawed because developing a good strategy is a collaborative effort involving all the stakeholders. A strategy is different from a vision as the strategy defines how to execute on the original vision.
Here at Elementz, a good product strategy involves the following five steps :
- Research & Discovery – We want to begin with the end in mind, so our first strategy session takes place before we begin any design or development work. We’ll uncover your vision, needs, and goals – and we’ll use them to drive the project and guide our design decisions.
- Product value proposition – We’ll dig deep into your business to determine what sets you apart – and how we can leverage that into a unique value proposition.
- Benchmarking and competitive analysis – We evaluate and benchmark similar products and apps in the same space. We also look at a competitor’s strategies used to achieve their objectives with their product. Finally, we measure a competitor’s strengths and weaknesses as well as their app user experience.
- It’s all about the Users – Users make the product. So we’ll learn everything we can about them – who they are, what drives them, and what they need and expect from you and your brand.
- Product concepting – Experiences are shaped by story. Our conceptualization planning includes the creation of User Stories, User Scenarios, and Use Cases. As a result, we can ensure that we’re reaching the right audiences – and giving them the right paths to follow.
Once the initial strategy is complete, we can design the digital product; whether it is a mobile app or ERP system. A designer can take all this foundational information and products, the flows, wireframes, and even the necessary designs that can lead to the development of the product.
At Elementz, for every strategy engagement, we personally spend days with our clients, as well as on outside research and lead our clients from their original vision to a well defined strategy through their discovery and concepting process. Are you ready for a strategy?