Product Management: How to Develop a Product that Meets Customer Expectations?

Product Management: How to Develop a Product that Meets Customer Expectations?

Product Management: How to Develop a Product that Meets Customer Expectations?
Product Management: How to Develop a Product that Meets Customer Expectations?

Product Management: How to Develop a Product that Meets Customer Expectations?

 Product management is a crucial function within organizations that involves planning and overseeing the development, launch, and maintenance of products. But what exactly is the process of product management? And how does it help you develop a product that meets your customers' needs?

What is Product Management?

 Product management is a systematic process that involves the development, planning, management, testing, and marketing of products. It aims to plan and coordinate the efforts of the team members to make the necessary decisions for launching the right product for the user, developing it, and achieving profits for the company.

 The process of product management relies on understanding the company's overall direction and goals, assessing its success in launching and developing products, meeting customers' needs and desires, and increasing the company's value.

 The person responsible for product management is called a product manager. Their tasks include defining product strategies and objectives, analyzing the market and competition, as well as developing and designing products and services. They also determine pricing and promotion strategies and, finally, manage the product's life cycle, monitoring and evaluating its performance in the market.

The Importance of Product Management for Your Company.

 Product management is one of the key factors for the success of companies in the business world. The following points highlight the importance of product management for both large and small projects:

  • Customer Satisfaction: Product management is essential for understanding customer needs and developing products that meet those needs. The product manager plays a crucial role in this process by creating the necessary strategies to communicate with customers, understand their requirements, and design and develop products that ensure their complete satisfaction even before their official launch in the market through surveys and prototypes.
  • Innovation and Competitiveness: Product management encourages companies to innovate effective strategies to improve existing products and study their feasibility, as well as develop new products. This helps the company achieve competitiveness by offering different and distinct products and services compared to its competitors.
  • Enhancing Sales Strategies: Product managers provide valuable information about the value of products and customer satisfaction, allowing companies to extract insights that help them make strategic decisions for marketing and product development. This ultimately translates into increased sales and profitability.
  • Product Life Cycle Management: Any product requires continuous management throughout its lifecycle in the market, starting from its launch, through the implementation of marketing strategies, and until the end of its life cycle. This management relies on understanding the stages of the product's life, which contributes to its successful marketing.

Steps of Product Management:

 The steps of product management may vary depending on the organization and the specific product, but generally, product management can be divided into 7 key stages representing the elements of product management. These stages are:

1. Idea Generation and Organization:

 The life cycle of any product begins with generating the idea, which is the most important and challenging step. In this stage, the product management team should conduct extensive research and explore the target customer base. 

 For example, let's consider a company specializing in the production of athletic shoes. Their core mission is quality, efficiency, and comfort. When deciding to launch a new product in the market, the product management team starts by researching customer requirements regarding athletic shoes. They may employ various strategies to gather this information, such as:

  • Gathering opinions and ideas from investors.
  • Conducting brainstorming sessions with the team.
  • Conducting surveys, either online or in person.
  • Utilizing ideation tools.

The team might find, for instance, that a significant portion of customers face issues with shoes manufactured in traditional sizes that do not fit them as desired. Based on this information, the team may propose providing custom-sized athletic shoes. Customers can visit the company's webpage, enter their measurements, and request a custom-made athletic shoe.

2. Conceptualizing Product Specifications:

 The next step after identifying the general idea of the product is to conceptualize its overall vision and define its detailed specifications. This step is crucial in the product management process because it outlines the general structure of the product and the overall workflow followed by the team. It also estimates the effort, time, and resources required to invest in the product.

 The conceptualization of product specifications stems from two main factors: the company's overall direction, mission, and objectives, and the market's need for a product with specific specifications or an existing product that customers desire to see improved in certain aspects. The product manager should emerge from this stage with a detailed document that includes all the technical specifications related to the product, how it will look, and the details of each component and its function.

3. Product Roadmapping:

 The product roadmap serves as a high-level summary of the expected product lifecycle. It is a strategic plan that includes all the stages the product will go through, along with a general description of each stage and the required resources and desired outcomes.

 In this step, the product management team assesses the company's ability to provide the product with the specified specifications that meet customer needs, as well as its economic feasibility. In our previous example, the team might find that the general concept of custom athletic shoes is not effectively implementable in reality or that the cost would be high and exceed the purchasing power of the target customer segment.

4. Idea Filtering:

 This stage involves the process of refining the ideas presented on the product roadmap and the overall business plan to arrive at the desired product. This stage might be challenging as it involves accepting or excluding specific ideas and engaging in discussions with stakeholders whose ideas have been excluded, such as investors and others.

 The importance of this stage lies in narrowing down the general template of the product roadmap into a template that can be effectively applied and has relatively guaranteed feasibility in reality. A professional product management team relies on a filtering network or priority matrix at this stage.

 This network includes predefined criteria that encompass general specifications and a core company policy that the planned product must adhere to. Each idea from the proposed ideas on the product roadmap is subject to these criteria, and all ideas that do not align with them are excluded. In the previous example, the filtering process might lead to the exclusion of ideas that do not meet the company's criteria, such as using mid-quality materials (a specific supplier mentioned in the roadmap) to reduce costs, while the company's message aims to deliver a premium product to the customer. In this case, this stage would be replaced by an alternative option that achieves the company's message and ensures good profitability, such as finding an alternative supplier that provides satisfactory quality materials at an acceptable cost.

5. Prototype Manufacturing:

 After finalizing the product roadmap, the focus shifts to the production team to begin the stage of manufacturing the initial prototype of the product. In this stage, the team might release the product in limited quantities and at initial prices for experimentation and gathering user feedback.

 After extensive user testing (determined by the statistics team) and collecting evaluations, opinions, and observations from users, the product management team proceeds either by giving the green light for a direct product launch or by making some improvements inspired by the feedback provided by the initial users.

 At this stage, the team can also establish a general pricing policy based on the initial survey of customers, by directly asking them about the amount they are willing to allocate for this product.

6. Product Launch:

 In this stage, the product is officially unveiled to the public with a strong marketing push. Product management now focuses on monitoring the product's performance in the market and gathering real-time user feedback. This stage is highly critical because widespread product usage may reveal flaws that were not apparent during the initial testing phase.

 A prime example of this is the case of Samsung's Note 7 smartphone, where a significant number of customers complained about the device's overheating and some devices even catching fire due to a technical flaw in the charging system. This prompted the product management team to request a swift recall of the phone from the market to address the issue. Indeed, most devices were recalled, and the subsequent model was launched only after the flaw was fixed.

7. Implementing Improvements:

Implementing improvements is the final and most prominent stage of the product management process. It occurs after the product has been launched in the market for a sufficient period, which can extend up to a quarter of the expected product lifecycle. During this period, customer opinions, feedback, and their overall experience with the product are collected.

 At this point, the product manager plays a crucial role in addressing any significant feedback that impacts the user experience in the long run. The company may make adjustments to the product's name, design, or version (in the case of digital products). Some companies might also add labels like "plus" or "pro" to signify enhancements. 

Developing a product that meets customer expectations:

 Several key principles and criteria play a vital role in the success of product management, including:

1. Defining product goals:

 Successful product management begins by deeply understanding the product and defining its core objective. It involves identifying potential customers, their needs, and the features the product will offer, along with potential drawbacks. This requires engaging with customers, understanding their opinions and needs, and leveraging that information to make appropriate decisions for product creation and development.

2. Market and competitor analysis:

 A fundamental criterion for successful product management is analyzing the market, and understanding its requirements and trends through thorough research, data analysis, and pricing evaluations. It also involves studying competitors and identifying weaknesses in their products that can be addressed in your product to make it stand out and different from what competitors offer. By doing so, you ensure its success in the market.

3. Marketing Strategy Planning:

 Effective marketing is crucial for the success of any product launch. Therefore, it is essential to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy that covers the product from start to finish and ensures alignment with the company's overall objectives.

4. Hiring a Professional Product Manager:

Hiring a professional product manager is paramount as they will be the foundation for the project's success or failure. Three key points directly lead to customer satisfaction:

  • Analyzing current trends and identifying opportunities to meet emerging customer needs.
  • Envisioning differentiation from competitors through achievable steps that can be implemented as a new product or an enhancement to an existing one.
  • Conducting a comprehensive analysis of the product lifecycle from launch to withdrawal or discontinuation, identifying gaps and weaknesses that affected customer satisfaction, and compensating for them in the next product iteration.

Product Management Challenges and Overcoming Them for Success:

 Product management is not a simple process, often characterized by complexity, especially when dealing with a diverse product portfolio. Therefore, it is natural for product management teams to face challenges such as:

  • Rapid changes in customer needs: One of the significant challenges for product managers is the continuous shift in customer opinions and unstable requirements. It is crucial to consider customer fluctuations, conduct ongoing research and analysis, and maintain communication channels to understand and flexibly address their needs.
  • Intense competition: Market competition poses a significant challenge, and it can hinder the execution of product management plans within a company. It is necessary to monitor current competitors as well as potential ones, studying their short-term and long-term plans.
  • Communication among teams: Communication channels with the product management team should be open across departments, from marketing to development, distribution, and management. The complexity of communication can lead to coordination errors that result in financial losses for the company. Therefore, coordination between different teams is essential to ensure a smooth product lifecycle.


 Product management is a vital process for any business project, and it is the decisive factor for either remarkable success or substantial loss upon product launch. Therefore, don't hesitate to rely on product management experts to drive your business project forward in the fiercely competitive market.


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