The concept of product leadership is all about understanding the customer’s needs and providing their unique experience through innovative products. Both small, as well as large scale businesses, need this product leadership to excel in the market.
To create a great product that has the potential to lead the industry, the businesses need to take risks on the market uncertainty.
Nobody knows if the coming product will fulfill the customer’s need or not. They don’t know if it will be usable and feasible for them. To become a product leader, one has to go through several tough decisions.
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Market Uncertainty and Product Leadership
A product leader has to tackle market certainty now and then. It’s not just about dealing with those uncertainties on our own but also leading our product team to create an excellent product.
Uncertainties are enough to shake people from inside; it is never easy to conclude business when uncertainties surround the following product. Product leaders are made during these situations.
It takes superior emotional intelligence to handle the immense stress and take the right and quick decisions during such a stressful situation. Dilemma captures our brain’s decision-making ability, and it takes effort to decide on the new product.
The human brain tends to overfocus on negativity – the one who can put things right in this situation becomes the product leader in the market.
Not only the businesses but also the customers are caught up with this uncertainty whenever a new product is launched. In this situation, they shift themselves to the one whom they trust the most.
Hence to become a product leader, you not only need great innovation and decision-making skills but also need to establish trust among your customers. The principles that the business follows play a crucial role in this situation.
Moreover, the business with better communication and transparency with the customers wins their hearts. It’s all about making them believe in you and follow your path. Your customers are not sure about the product – fill them with correct narratives.
Being a product leader requires many checks that you need to ensure before launching your product.
Product Leadership as a Strategy
Being a product leader has so many perks, but being the leader every time with a new product is never easy. It requires skill and proper management of the business, along with other factors.
By creating a completely new experience for the customers, product leaders gain not only their trust but also the premium prices. They make the product valuable and usable at the same time.
Many businesses fear innovation in the modern-day market. Being a product leader means being open to changes. A static business can never lead the market with any product. It is essential to research the market and customer’s needs thoroughly and then assess what changes are required.
Take Apple, for example – their product leadership culture is the reason behind their immense success. Apple products get the premium market prices as they create a unique experience for their users with their innovative products.
How to be a Product Leader?
Product leaders are not created overnight; neither is it about luck. You need to have a market understanding and the skills to create excellent products as per the customer’s requirement. It is essential to know your buyer and the scope for the product in the market.
A product leader requires a team that has the potential to not only create a great product but also make it available for the buyers.
A business needs to work on the following factors to be a product leader in the market –
1. Market Research
This is the most emphasized factor for being a product leader. Unless you know what the market and your customers seek from you, you can’t create a great product. It is not just about assessing the needs but also the scope of the product in the market.
Market research will help you in setting up the price for your new product and reveal the channels through which you should market the product.
You need a great team to create a great product. Teamwork is one of the essential factors to run any business effectively. Team management is another factor that decides the fate of the new product in the market.
Proper team management is essential to make your teamwork in the right direction. Here team coordination also plays a vital role.
3. Product Management
Product management is all about doing the right things to create a great product. Product development is not a single-step process; instead, it goes through multiple stages – you need to manage those.
Adopt the right strategy and put things in the right place to produce a dream product.
4. Talent Management
This is another essential management skill to make your product lead the market. You must be capable enough to manage the talent within your organization. It is essential to make the best out of your employees.
5. Marketing and Sales
You created a great product, but now is the time to market it properly and ensure a proper sale. Unless and until your customers know about your product, it can’t lead the market. Implement the right marketing strategies and sales techniques to enhance the reach of your product in the market.
These are some essential factors that businesses need to look after to be product leader. Anyone can become a product leader in the market; you just need to think out of the box and implement the right strategies to develop and sell your product.
The members who genuinely care about the team’s/businesses’ success eventually create market-leading products.
Let’s look at some of the essential responsibilities of a product leader
Responsibilities of a Product Leader
A product leader defines the fate of the product in the industry. The actions taken by them are going to impact the likewise product forever in the market. Here are specific responsibilities that a product leader must garner –
1. The Direction of the Product
What defines a good product? It should meet the customer’s expectations; it should be better than the competitor’s product, and so on. These are the essential criteria that we know. Now every product leader has something unique in their ideology. They make regular decisions for their product’s betterment.
A good product is developed when these basic criteria align with the product leader’s direction of the product. Now, the product leader’s role in this aspect is more prominent than this – he has to make sure that the team is clear about this direction.
What defines a product’s direction? The vision behind it, the strategy for its development. Being a product leader means having a unique vision of the product’s development. The product leader must know what he is aiming at. This vision is going to affect the entire organization in the long term.
The development is another significant aspect product leaders should never ignore. Undoubtedly, it is among the primary responsibilities of a product leader. A plan with a roadmap should be prepared, and the team should stick to that in the long run. This strategy should be prepared by keeping the customer’s expectations in the center.
2. Team Formation
Creating an excellent product requires teamwork. Developing a product with the ability to beat the competitors in the market requires experts to work on that. A product leader has the responsibility of forming and managing a team of professionals.
It may seem that the product’s vision is the most critical factor in the development of an excellent product, but the product team is equally responsible in this venture. This team should contain people from varied expertise –from developers to designers and researchers.
A product leader has the quality to hire the talent suitable for a specific role. A good product leader knows which candidate is suitable for which role within the product team. Hiring is the first step towards a more significant venture. The hired individual needs to be trained accordingly to use their full potential.
Managing this great team is as essential as formation. It is vital to provide the members with an environment in which they can work comfortably. The culture should be suitable for all. This team is going to create a product that will challenge the market standards; hence the leader should emphasize providing them with a suitable environment.
3. Setting up the Process Structure
Undoubtedly, this should never be ignored. Setting up a suitable organizational structure is extremely important for the development of an excellent product. In simple words, the product leader has the responsibility to define the process of the product’s development.
The typical product team consists of engineers, designers, and managers. Now it is the responsibility of the leader to ensure each one of them is clear about the product development process.
The team should be clear about using the right tools for the development process. Team collaboration is another factor that the leader should look for.
Moreover, it is the responsibility of the leader to ensure that the first two responsibilities are compromised nowhere throughout the development process. From the goal setting to strategic planning, from the team management to performance management, everything should act according to the preset directions and guidelines.
Now, it is evident that negativity will hit now and then during the development process. It is the responsibility of the leader to tackle those negative vibes. The product team must be capable enough of handling bugs and be vigilant towards any chances of improvement.
So, these are some of the essential responsibilities of a product leader. Whether it is about small- or large-scale business, the leader must adhere to these responsibilities to ensure the development of an excellent product.
So, this was all about product leadership.
With the ever-changing customer requirement and market conditions, only those businesses survive who are open to innovation and change.
Focusing on customer’s requirements will eventually do business to lead the market through their products.
Liked this post? Check out the complete series on Product Management