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All related (7)
Lizzy Masotta
Senior Product Lead at Shopify | Formerly Salesforce, Google, Nest, Cisco SystemsMarch 28

Don’t forget about marketing, positioning and acquisition of customers as a key part in your differentiation strategy. 

It’s easy for Product Managers to solely focus on the bits and bytes of how the product works once someone’s in it, but if you cannot acquire or entice new customers - you need to move your differentiation focus further up the funnel. 

Is your product too hard to set up or use? Does it take a long time for users to see value in your product? 

It’s key to partner with sales, product marketing, support and solution engineering to get the full picture here.

Kara Gillis
Sr. Director of Product Management at Splunk May 31

I'll keep this one rather brief.

I find that some product managers do not always listen to their customers and their problems as the guiding light for improving and differentiating their products. Instead, they fall in love with a shiny new piece of technology that may not be solving a critical problem.

Preethy Vaidyanathan
Head of Product at Matterport January 25

One important ingredient is tying how product differentiation helps drive business value like brand recognition, product usage or increased sales. This connection between differentiation and business outcome can be overlooked because it may not be a straightforward exercise to draw causation conclusions. One strategy to deploy is to think of leading-indicator measurement (vs. lagging). Few examples:

  • Increased sales are a lagging indicator. However, can you measure how product differentiation helped shorten the time window from the first sales pitch to the customer pilot or POC (leading indicator)
  • A faster time to recruit for beta programs with a differentiated offering could be used as a leading indicator for product adoption
  • Can you measure improving time-to-first action or time-to-value as a leading indicator for product adoption

As product managers prioritize not just thinking about feature differentiation but also how to measure the impact of this differentiation. 

Milena Krasteva
Sr Director II, Product Management - Marketing Technology at Walmart March 31

Sustainable Competitive Advantage.

1. Product attributes are insufficient and can be replicated by competitors with enough investment and determination

2. Pricing models and all their nuances can be undercut. Customers' willingness to pay may be negated by the next recession or evaporate when a new shinier, cooler competitor product arrives

3. Human capital, though harder to build up and retain, can still be hired away from you. Everybody has a price.

So, what makes for sustainable competitive advantage? Leveraging economics of scale but more so economies of scope, driving flywheel type effects (positive network externalities), preferred access to resources or markets, etc