Bad Product Strategy in Product Management in 2021 - Tech Data Product

Bad Product Strategy in Product Management in 2021

Why does a well-thought plan turn into a bad product strategy? Indeed, you put in lots of effort, but you will not reach your destination if you keep walking blindly. Similarly, if you do not consider essential factors, that plan turns into an epic failure.

Product strategy is based on vision and contains expertise, time effort, updated research, and many more.

While making a strategy, if you ignore any of these, you will fail to get the expected result. This article will get comprehensive details about what makes a bad product strategy and the reason. Moreover, you will also get a solution to your problem.

Good product strategy vs. bad product strategy?

To understand an unsuccessful product strategy, you need to see how a successful product strategy looks. So, let’s have a look.

  • A good product strategy is based on an honest assessment of the market and customers, while a bad one either downplays the competition or lacks these factors.
  • A good product strategy increases the chances of success by depending on long-lasting advantages, while a bad strategy depends on the source of current advantages.
  • A good strategy is developed by understanding customer’s demand and product requirements, while a bad strategy is entirely based on customer demand and ignores development resources.

What does a lousy product strategy look like?

If there were a simple test for bad product strategy, companies would happily use it. But, unfortunately, there is no such test.

Only having experience in strategizing can help you determine whether a strategy is perfect or not. For the mentioned reason, here we have mentioned some tell-tale signs that your strategy is on the wrong path.

Lack of specificity

Broadly open objectives with no appreciation ultimately stay unsuccessful. Moreover, there is no clear objective like what the company is trying to accomplish, leaving things to interpretation. 

Having complete information will lead you to the same and successful path., but the team will leave for executing and plotting without listening to the complete information; everyone will have different results. However, it will be a complete disaster. To stay oriented, you need to make a strategy and dictate it to team members.

You do not know your customer.

If you do not understand the target market, you are making a product for an audience that does not exist.

How can you understand your market as developers get rare chances to interact with real consumers? Product managers need to do extensive research to understand the market best and dictate who they are and what they care about.

Having an understanding regarding customers will help you draft the perfect strategy as well as product. If you don’t know the actual target market, there are high chances of getting off track.

You confuse customer request with product requirement

When clients place an order, they usually ask for some distinct features. Moreover, sometimes they want some strange features.

As a product manager, you need to receive and review all demands. But, receiving all demands does not mean putting everything in the product.

Adding every feature that a customer wants may make an exciting product. But, it can have many downstream consequences.

It can divert development resources away from working on strategically essential items. Moreover, it may also cause regression that will linger for an extended period.

So to make a successful product or strategy, you need to balance customer requests and product requirements.

Refuse to make hard choices

Sometimes hard choices can make a big difference, while easy steps can make you fall. Bad product strategy ignores the power of choice and words, trying instead to accommodate multiple conflicting demands and interests.

Failure to accept the reality put the company into a state of denial. Running a successful business with a successful strategy does not mean that this strategy will work forever.

With the changing demands and time, you need to change the strategy. For example, when you know digital technology will take over the manual world, you need to start putting digital touch in your business.

Features beat value

More features, more fun, right? It is valid to some extent. People love to add more features to products.

New features may seem exciting to customers and can help in gaining attention. But, having more features does not mean that product has gotten better.

 Lots of product managers focus on adding additional functionalities, but they best prefer to restrain themselves. Moreover, they concentrate on adding value.

If the new feature is not doing best, it is just taking place. At the same time, it distracts the team from focusing on accelerating revenue and retaining customer trust.

Identifying the problem that customers are facing is an important task. Instead of adding features, improving the already existing ones helps you in stepping towards success.

Reasons for bad product strategy

I drafted it to be successful, but why did it turn into a bad product strategy? Does this query ever come to your mind after making a strategy?

You may do your best, but walking blindly will lead you to an abyss. You need to adopt a systematic approach for a good product strategy. Moreover, here are some reasons a strategy can fail

Lack of vision

A strong vision keeps the team goal-oriented. When there is no vision, what is the purpose of strategy?

Product vision is the goal of the product life cycle. Initially, this vision can be to gain market shares. Over time, it can increase profit by improving customer satisfaction or transferring customers to other services.

Anyone can set goals, but the right vision is set by analyzing the market, competitors, or customers’ needs. Trends and impacts on the future of the product become more precise when they are considered from many angles. However, when the vision is lacking, it results in a bad product strategy.

Lack of time and expertise

For the development of sound strategy, high-level expertise, extensive business understanding, and time is required. However, sometimes product managers do not take it so seriously and do not develop a unique product strategy from scratch.

A PM needs to focus on strategic work and maintain distance from daily thoughts to stay more focused and brainstorm. However, significantly few product managers can spare time to understand steps and customers’ needs. Well, lack of time and expertise affects strategy development.

Incomplete knowledge of why what and to whom

These three ‘W’ are the key factors that play vital roles that turn a successful strategy into a bad and bad strategy into successful.

When you do not know the goal and specificity, the purpose of the objective, and for whom you are making this product, you cannot develop a good strategy.

To clear confusion regarding all questions, bridging the communication gap is very important. Make a detailed presentation with facts and evidence on the table and define strategy. However, approval of strategy is the first step; successful implementation is the main part. When a team lacks this communication and clarification, the strategy does not work.

How to fix bad product strategy?

Every problem has a solution. Don’t worry if you have become a victim of a bad product strategy, here we have suggested some ways you can follow them to fix it. Let’s move to it.

Assign a product owner to drive a strategy

One main key component to creating a viable product strategy is to assign tasks to the responsible person or team. In other words, developing or fixing a product strategy demands the time, attention, and skills of an experienced person.

If it becomes an informal task and widely distributed that every person plays a different role in crafting, your product strategy will likely be watered down. Ideally, a product manager who has a thorough knowledge of the market can fix the strategy. But, it can also be a product owner or other small team of experts.

The strategist must bring evidence that support strategy

If you are willing to improve a product strategy, first of all, you need to find some evidence that will support your vision.

These initiatives can emerge after working closely with customers to figure out the problem they are facing. Moreover, to understand how you can solve this problem. You can also conduct surveys.

From the customer feedback and facts and figures, you can compel stakeholders to agree that your improved strategy is worthy. Furthermore, it understands the customer’s requirements and can solve the solution. Instead of adding more features to solving customer problems, it is key to a successful product strategy.

Shift focus temporarily from new development to improvement

For a successful product strategy, you need to prioritize tasks. You can use various methods to prioritize your tasks like customer development.

It will help in developing a compelling roadmap which is a high-level blueprint for product strategy implementation.

Of course, considering the backlog is essential, but for now, the team will need to step back and focus on the customer’s problem. Moreover, the team must focus on the problem’s solution and method to adjust it into a strategic plan.


Bad product strategies can happen to any company, even to successful ones. You cannot ensure 100% success, but you can consider tell-tale signs that you are getting off the road. Moreover, to avoid such unpleasant experiences, adopt a systematic approach and consider market trends and demands.

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