Optimizing Product Portfolios

Embracing platform thinking will allow you to respond to market forces and address new market opportunities more effectively than your competitors.

As barriers to market entry erode and differentiation becomes more difficult, your product portfolio must evolve more quickly than ever before.

Many companies are shifting their product mix toward platforms that are designed to offer customers the flexibility to address a wider range of requirements. Product platform flexibility is often achieved through software, but when combined with hardware configurability can offer an even greater competitive advantage.

When multiple viable products are presented to customers clearly in the buying process, whether B2B or B2C, many express a willingness to trade immediate feature gratification for downstream platform stability, customizability, and/or upgradability.

B2B customers often perform an intense comparative analysis before purchases are made. For that reason, it’s critical that you understand what they see as immediate requirements compared with requirements that could be beneficial in the future.

Consumer offerings are often evaluated in more complex, emotion-affected comparative environments. Products in consumer-oriented portfolios that carefully align aesthetics, features, behaviors, and other experience-based qualities will perform better than products/platforms that are not designed to hit the right personal-fit target.

Brand expression and brand elasticity must be considered too. A well-articulated visual brand language will resonate with customers on both conscious and unconscious levels, providing enough familiarity to make new product and new platform purchase decisions feel more comfortable when compared to alternatives, while also building brand loyalty.

 
 

We can help you answer questions about how to leverage design to bring alignment to a mixed or fragmented product portfolio:

Vision Alignment

Have we painted a clear future market vision, and is our team aligned on our position in that market?

Customer Needs Research

What requirements are universal to our customers, and where can a platform approach to product design give us an operational advantage?

Product Platform Design

Are we making the right tradeoffs on our product’s design and platform architecture in order to create the most effective product mix?

Brand Expression

Does our product portfolio align with our brand positioning, communicate competitive differentiation, and resonate with our customer expectations?
 

We create optimized product roadmaps, design languages, and product platform embodiments that will help you:

  1. Illustrate your near, mid and long-term product portfolio evolution.
  2. Get your team aligned on pursuing developing market opportunities.
  3. Articulate unmet customer needs, identifying feature, product, and platform opportunities.
  4. Drive the first product platform derivatives (often the MVP) to market quickly.
  5. Deliver evidence of customer interest, buy-in and potential future engagement.
  6. Align your product portfolio with brand positioning.

 
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