Product Managers Need To Understand The Power Of A Newsletter

Product Managers know that newsletters can be a powerful way to stay in touch with your customers
Product Managers know that newsletters can be a powerful way to stay in touch with your customers
Image Credit: AJC1

As product managers we spend a great deal of our time trying to figure out how to get more people to buy our products. This is all fine, but it turns out that some of our most profitable customers may be the people who have already bought our product. Since they have already bought into our product development definition and agreed to buy one of our products, they may be more willing to buy more products, add-ons, and upgrades. Additionally, if they can remember that they have bought our product then they may be willing to recommend it to others. As product managers what we need to do is to start to send a newsletter to our customers in order to make sure that they remember us.

What’s Your Offer?

As we all know, time is precious. What this means is that if we send a newsletter to our customers, we’d like them to take the time to read it. However, if we don’t come up with a way to grab their attention right off the bat, then all of our effort is going to be wasted. What you need to keep in mind is that people need a good reason to be willing to add even more email to their inboxes which are probably already overflowing.

What this is going to mean for you as a product manager is that how you get your customers to sign up to receive your newsletter is almost as important as the newsletter itself. The one thing that you want to make sure that you never do is to add email addresses to your mailing list without the person’s permission to do so. Your sign up form is going to have to make some promises to your customers. What are they going to get out of subscribing to your newsletter? Will it be discounts on your company’s products? Will it be secret industry insider information? The key to make sure that the newsletter benefits are long term so that customer’s won’t just subscribe, get what they wanted, and then unsubscribe.

Frequency Counts

As product managers, we’d like to always be on our customer’s minds. Now, this of course is not possible, but we would at least like to make sure that they don’t forget about us. This means that we’re going to have to make some important decisions regarding how often you are going to want to send newsletters to your customers. None of us want to get the reputation of being a spammer and so we don’t want to do this too often.

The flip side of this problem is not sending a newsletter to our customers often enough. What can happen if we do that is that they end up forgetting about us and forgetting about our newsletter. In certain businesses there is a time of year that customers are most likely to make a purchase, such as around Christmas time. What can happen is that we ignore our customers all year and then start sending them lots of newsletters as Christmas approaches. A much better approach is to realize that we need to get in contact with our customers roughly once or twice a month. Do this right and you’ll have something to add to your product manager resume.

It’s All About Design

I’m willing to bet that most of us are not accomplished graphical designers and this means that we’re going to be facing a real issue when it comes to coming up with a layout for our newsletter. Product managers often like to focus on what kind of content we’re going to be including and not so much on how it’s going to be presented. What this can lead to is a newsletter that has a lot of text and very little white space separating it. This will make your newsletter hard to read.

In order to make any newsletter interesting, it’s often a good idea to include a few images. This can make the whole newsletter more attractive. However, product managers need to realize that they can’t control how their customers are going to read the newsletter. What this means is that a lot of your customers may be using software that turns ads and images off when they read online content. This means that when they look at your newsletter, the images will be removed and will be replaced with blank spaces. You need to be aware that this can happen and make sure that your newsletter still looks good even without the images that you’ve included.

What All Of This Means For You

In the era of Facebook and Twitter, it turns out that the email newsletter is still a very powerful way for product managers to get in touch with their customers. Even if it’s only the subject line, they can be assured that any customer who has subscribed to their newsletter will at least read part of it each time they send it out. Keeping your customer’s attention is a part of every product manager’s product manager job description.

In order to build up a mailing list for your newsletter, you are going to have to get your existing customers to sign up for the newsletter. This means you’ll have to create a compelling offer for them that will cause them to want to read the newsletter and not quickly unsubscribe. You’ll want to use your newsletter to make sure that your customer remembers you. This means that you need to not send so many newsletters that you come across as a spammer, but also that you send enough to be remembered. Roughly once or twice a month should do the trick. The way that you lay out your newsletter is going to be important in getting your customers to read it. Don’t cram too much text into it and make sure that if images are not displayed that it will still be readable.

A newsletter is a cheap and easy way to keep in touch with your existing customers. The key to a successful long-term relationship with a customer is communication and the newsletter is the best way to make this happen. If you take the time to create a newsletter that will contain information that your customers will want to read, then you will have created a way to stay in touch with them and to be there the next time they want to make a purchase.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Product Management Skills™

Question For You: How many pages do you think that a newsletter should have?

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P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Product Manager Newsletter are now available. It’s your product – it’s your career. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

When it’s time for you to go to the store and get some food, where do you go? Do you always go to the same place? If you are like most of us, you have relatively set patterns: you go to the same store, you walk the same aisles, and you check out at the same register. Oh sure, you might visit a different grocery store if they are running a great special or you are out and remember that you need something and somebody else is closer. However, we are all basically creatures of habit. That’s why it’s so surprising that a German grocery store chain seems to think that they can change their product development definition and open stores in the U.S. in order to be more successful…

Why Are Product Managers Moving Away From Focus Groups?

Focus groups are the way that product managers used to find out how customers felt about their product
Focus groups are the way that product managers used to find out how customers felt about their product
Image Credit: RSNY

When a product manager is put in charge of a product, one of the first questions that they would like to be able to answer is just exactly what do potential customers think about the product? There are number of different ways to go about answering this question and testing our product development definition, but one way that we’ve all be using for a long time is the veritable focus group. However, there has always been a bit of a problem with this product management tool – what customers say and what they do can be two completely different things. What’s a product manager to do?

What’s Better Than A Focus Group?

Here in the 21st Century, what every product manager who is responsible for a consumer product would like to be able to do is to monitor what his or her customers were saying about that product on the countless different social media platforms that are out there. Tools that allow this kind of monitoring to be done are exactly what is starting to get rid of the old standby – focus groups. Let’s all agree on just exactly what a focus group is. You collect a diverse group of people who represent the types of customers that you believe are most likely to purchase your product. In a carefully controlled environment using a professional moderator, you ask them questions to find out what they think about your product, how they would go about using your product, and what would cause them to select your product over the competition. If we did this well, then we’d have something to put on our product manager resume.

However, the biggest problem with focus groups is that they are probably the most misused tool in a product manager’s toolbox. Now that tools are available to monitor social media, product managers have a new way of finding out what their customers really think about their products. The end result of collecting all of this social media data is that product managers can now perform better research. Better research means that the chances of making a big mistake in regards to your product should become less.

There are many different tools that are starting to give product managers the same information that they used to get from focus groups. One example of this is the eye-tracking technology that some firms are starting to use in order to pinpoint which packaging details most attract a customer’s attention. Additionally, product teams are starting to be built using people from a wider variety of backgrounds. These backgrounds can include social work and jury consulting. The key to making both these new tools and staff be successful is to make sure that the company collects enough information on their customers to determine what their buying habits are.

What Product Managers Will Be Using In The Future

The monitoring of social media in order to determine how customers are perceiving a brand has been given a name. This is now being called “social listening”. Companies want to collect the information and then make it available to all of the employees who need it. The goal of all of this is to provide product managers with new ways to study their customers and understand how they both live and shop. What product managers want to know is what products their customers are most likely to buy.

One of the biggest challenges that product managers are currently facing has to do with their millennial customers. These customers are unlike any that have come before them. Millennial customers are much more likely to jump from brand to brand and so it becomes hard for product managers to try to predict what they are going to end up buying. Additionally, millennial customers appear to be unmoved by so-called traditional advertising. This means that it can be very difficult to reach them with information about a given product.

One of the newest techniques that product managers are using to find out what their customers really want is to create online groups where their customers can mix together. Such groups can provide customers with an opportunity to sign up in order to learn more about the company’s products and interact with each other. Since product managers can monitor the conversations that occur on the site between members, this provides them with more insights than any focus group ever could. These type of inputs can lead to ideas for new packaging and innovative brand extensions.

What All Of This Means For You

Traditionally when product manager wanted to know more about what their customers were thinking, they would do what their product manager job description told them to do and go to the effort of creating a focus group. This required assembling a collection of customers whom the product manager felt best represented their customers and then asking them questions about the product. The problem with this is that often the information that they got was either wrong or at least misleading. Product managers needed something better.

In our modern times, product managers can now collect social media data in order to find out what customers really think about their product. Product managers are starting to use new tools such as eye-tracking technology and building more diverse product teams in order to gain better insights into what their customers might be thinking. Using “social listening” product managers are starting to hear what their customers are saying about their products. This is good news because product managers have been struggling to deal with millennial customers who don’t act like other customers. Product managers are starting to set up online groups that they can monitor in order to hear what their customers think about their products.

Times are changing and so product managers have to change with them. It used to be easy to try to read the minds of our customers – we’d just create a focus group and ask them a lot of questions. This never worked out all that well, but it was the best that we had. Today’s new social media tools provide us with a different way of collecting the same information. However, now we can be confident that the information is reliable. Today’s product managers have to become good listeners if they want their product to become a success!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Product Management Skills™

Question For You: Can you think of a situation where a real focus group would still be valuable?

Click here to get automatic updates when
The Accidental Product Manager Blog is updated.

P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Product Manager Newsletter are now available. It’s your product – it’s your career. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As product managers we spend a great deal of our time trying to figure out how to get more people to buy our products. This is all fine, but it turns out that some of our most profitable customers may be the people who have already bought our product. Since they have already bought into our product development definition and agreed to buy one of our products, they may be more willing to buy more products, add-ons, and upgrades. Additionally, if they can remember that they have bought our product then they may be willing to recommend it to others. As product managers what we need to do is to start to send a newsletter to our customers in order to make sure that they remember us.

Is 3-D Printing The Next Step For Product Managers?

3-D Printing will allow new types of products to be created
3-D Printing will allow new types of products to be created
Image Credit: malavoda

In the world of product managers, we can dream big. We can use our product development definition to imagine products that can solve customer problems perfectly. They are skinny, strong, wide, long, and fit perfectly where our customers need them to go. Right after we get done imagining what our product needs to look like, what generally happens is that we come crashing down to earth as reality settles in and we realize that the perfect product cannot be created using today’s manufacturing processes. They are too complex, too detailed, or simply can’t be made to be strong enough. The good news is that things are changing. 3-D printing is going to make all of our product manager dreams come true.

What Can 3-D Printing Do For Product Managers

The reason that this is the time for product managers to start to get excited about 3-D printing and perhaps getting our product manager resume out is because 3-D printing is getting ready to hit a milestone. The technology has become good enough and the costs associated with it have become low enough that mass produced 3-D parts can now start to be made. This has never been possible before. In the past, 3-D printing has been used solely for creating expensive prototypes and for creating customized parts for things like airplanes.

The one thing that can be said about the 3-D printing world is that it has not been standing still. 3-D printing has constantly been undergoing radical innovation and now for the first time 3-D printing techniques exist that are going to allow impossible designs to finally start to show up in product manager’s products. The impact of this over the long term is going to be that products that would have been impossible to create only a few years ago will soon become almost commonplace. Additionally, no longer will our products have to be made in some far-off land. 3-D printing is going to allow a shift of some manufacturing closer to the customers that the product managers will be serving.

3-D printing is not new. The technology has been around for over 20 years. However, in the past 3-D printing was restricted to making prototypes, novelties, machines for factories, or expensive specialized parts. When product managers are using a traditional manufacturing process, they are required to create molds, casts, and machining. As you can well imagine, this means that there are some significant upfront costs to getting ready to manufacture a new product. This process is a great way to go about making 1,000,000 of something, but not so great if you need fewer. The world of 3-D printing has finally come up with a way to speed up the process of 3-D printing while at the same time reducing both the cost and using stronger materials.

How Will 3-D Printing Change Our Lives

Traditionally, 3-D printing has consisted of machines that were basically glorified hot glue guns that dropped small bits of plastic in assigned locations. New 3-D printers from HP cost US$130,000 and draw with heat absorbing ink on plastic powder. This allows layers that are 1/10th of a millimeter to be built one at a time. Another 3-D printer from a company called Desktop Metal costs US$360,000 and uses ink jets to shoot a binding agent to hold tiny bits of metal together. Once this has been accomplished, they are then fused in a big oven.

From a product manager point of view, these new types of 3-D printing represent a revolution in how things can be created. In the past, 3-D printer companies gave away their printers and then charged their customers for specialized printing materials. Now cheaper powdered plastics for use in the HP printers will be available from over 50 different companies. What all of this innovation means is that product managers can expect many of the parts that can be found inside of many different products will start to become 3-D printed. A key market will be replacement parts for construction equipment because print-on-demand will allow the elimination of expensive distributed warehouses.

Product managers do need to keep in mind that there are a number of barriers that still stand in the way of 3-D printing becoming a mainstream manufacturing technology. The new 3-D technologies have dropped the costs of the items that they are able to product over older 3-D printing techniques. However, that cost really does not remain competitive with traditional manufacturing processes when you are creating more than 20,000 items. Another point to keep in mind is that traditional manufacturing has high up-front costs that go down over time. However, when you are using 3-D printing the cost of each item that you create will always remain constant. Finally, we’re still at the early stages of using 3-D printing and nobody really knows if these parts are going to be able to hold up over time. This type of question is only going to be answered over time.

What All Of This Means For You

As product managers we are responsible for using our product manager job description to create products and getting them into the hands of our customers. The arrival of 3-D printing holds the possibility of finally allowing us to create unique products that have never before been able to be created for our customers.

Changes in the field of 3-D printing may be opening the doors to allow product managers to deliver products that they could only dream about before. New 3-D printers are using novel ways to create products that both lower costs and create stronger products. This is causing a change in how 3-D printer manufactures sell their products: now they charge for the printer and offer cheap supplies. Product managers do have to be careful because the cost benefits of using 3-D printing go away once you create more than 20,000 items. Additionally, the long term durability of these parts is currently unknown.

Products that product managers have been dreaming of may now have become possible to create thanks to the arrival of 3-D printing. We’re going to have to take a close look at the market size for these products and weight the costs and benefits of 3-D printing over traditional manufacturing processes. However, it has become clear that if a product manager can dream it, now they can make it!

The cost associated with creating something using 3-D printing technology has almost hit a milestone. Costs have come down and quality has gone up and so 3-D printing is very close to being able to be used for mass marketed products. 3-D printing has been around for a number of years. However, in the past it has just been used for novelties and prototypes. However, now the economics are changing and 3-D printing offers an alternative to traditional manufacturing with its high upfront costs.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Product Management Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that using 3-D printing will allow product managers to start to personalize every product that they make?

Click here to get automatic updates when
The Accidental Product Manager Blog is updated.

P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Product Manager Newsletter are now available. It’s your product – it’s your career. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

When a product manager is put in charge of a product, one of the first questions that they would like to be able to answer is just exactly what do potential customers think about the product? There are number of different ways to go about answering this question and testing our product development definition, but one way that we’ve all be using for a long time is the veritable focus group. However, there has always been a bit of a problem with this product management tool – what customers say and what they do can be two completely different things. What’s a product manager to do?

How Can Product Managers Help Lego Get Over The Brick Wall That They Are Facing?

Digital play has started to cause problems for Lego product managers

Digital play has started to cause problems for Lego product managers
Image Credit: WRme2

So what do small children want to play with? In the past the answer to this question was fairly easy: dolls, trucks, and of course Lego bricks. In fact, the Legos Company has seen its sales rise for the past 13 years. That would have looked good on anyone’s product manager resume. However, recently something happened: they reported a drop in sales. All of a sudden this changes everything in terms of their product development definition. It appears as though today’s youth have become distracted by other items such as cell phones and video games and perhaps the multicolored Lego blocks don’t hold as much of an attraction as they used to. What should the Lego product managers do?

What Went Wrong At Lego?

There are a number of different things that have caused the sales of Lego blocks to suffer a setback, but the cause of these problems can probably be traced to the success that Legos has had in the past. Right now the company’s structure has been designed to create a company that was able to deal with double digit sales growth. The problem is that with sales starting to decline, the company now finds itself with too many different layers and too many departments that have overlapping functions.

The company’s current structure makes it harder for their product mangers to implement product strategies. The company is also struggling to react to the trends that they are seeing in the marketplace. Finally, the way that the company is organized keeps the product managers too far away from their primary customers: the retailers who sell the plastic blocks. Lego understands that they have made a mistake and that their organization as it currently stands is going to make it difficult for them to realize their growth potential.

The fundamental problem that the Lego product managers are currently facing is that their end customers, children, are having their attention distracted by other toys and activities. The problems that Lego is facing are not unique to them – other toy manufacturers like Mattel are facing exactly the same set of challenges. Today’s children like to be distracted by playing video games or watching countless videos on YouTube. The response to these types of challenges has been that the Lego product managers have tried to find ways to modernize their toys for the digital age.

What Can The Lego Product Managers Do?

The Lego product managers are looking for ways to bring their plastic brick toys into the modern age. In order to accomplish this, they have created video games that are based on the bricks. Additionally, they have created a line of programmable robots that can be built using Lego bricks. However, these efforts so far have not been enough to turn things around at the company. The traditional lines of toys are still seeing erosion that is not being made up by the new toy lines.

The Lego product managers have been busy trying to find different ways to keep their end customers involved with the plastic bricks. Back in 2013 the product mangers created online video games, videos, and a Lego themed TV series. The product managers have also created Boost which is a robot-building kit that combines bricks for physical construction along with computer code. The company has also ventured into the social network space and launched its own app based social network that is closely managed in order to allow children builders to exchange information about things that they have built with Legos.

The good news for Lego product managers is that studies of how children play have shown that the digital distractions that they have are not threating to do away with physical toys anytime soon. Children are making a place for physical toys in their lives. However, play on touchscreen devices outranks all other forms of play currently in terms of frequency. Lego has faced additional challenges because toys tied to movies have not sold as well as expected. It is hoped that by streamlining the company, the product managers will be able to get new versions of their toys out to market faster.

What All Of This Means For You

The Lego bricks that children play with have been popular toys for a long time. The Lego company built it’s company around the double digit growth that they have seen for a long time. However, now things have changed. They have recently had their first decrease in sales. Now the company has to make some changes in order to allow their product managers use their product manager job description to be successful.

Lego’s past success has led to its current problems. The company created too many layers and too many departments in order to deal with the double digit sales that they were experiencing. Now what they are going to have to do is to remove some of those layers and combine departments. This structure has hindered product managers from quickly introducing new products. Today’s children have a number of different things that can attract their attention and so they are spending less time with Legos. The Lego product managers have tried a number of different things in order to bring their products into the modern age. They have created Lego video games, videos, and robot kits that can be built with the plastic blocks. Physical toys are not going away, but touchscreen devices do seem to be taking over. The Lego product managers are going to have to get creative to hold on to their customers.

The Lego product managers have had a good ride for a long time. Now they are going to have to spend some time getting creative. They need to find new ways to get children to be interested in buying and building with Lego blocks. Children inherently want to do this, it’s just going to be up to the Lego product managers to find a way to show them that it’s still cool to do it!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Product Management Skills™

Question For You: Do you think the Lego product managers should try to make their products more modern or rely on their retro appeal?

Click here to get automatic updates when
The Accidental Product Manager Blog is updated.

P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Product Manager Newsletter are now available. It’s your product – it’s your career. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

In the world of product managers, we can dream big. We can use our product development definition to imagine products that can solve customer problems perfectly. They are skinny, strong, wide, long, and fit perfectly where our customers need them to go. Right after we get done imagining what our product needs to look like, what generally happens is that we come crashing down to earth as reality settles in and we realize that the perfect product cannot be created using today’s manufacturing processes. They are too complex, too detailed, or simply can’t be made to be strong enough. The good news is that things are changing. 3-D printing is going to make all of our product manager dreams come true.

Amazon Plans On Getting Into The Grocery Business

Amazon wants to be the place that you come to get food
Amazon wants to be the place that you come to get food
Image Credit: Indiana Stan

Hopefully by now we are all aware that Amazon has purchased Whole Foods and has gotten into the grocery business in a big way. However, what a lot of product managers may not be aware of is that Amazon’s grocery dreams don’t stop with Whole Foods. Instead, they have their own plans about changing their product development definition and finding out what an Amazon grocery store that they built from the ground up would look like. What lessors are product managers going to be able to learn as we watch Amazon expand even further into the grocery business?

Amazon’s Plans For The Grocery Business

We all know that Amazon has been very, very successful in the business of selling books, DVDs, etc. However, just exactly how do they plan on going about getting into the world of selling groceries if they have to build their own stores? The word on the street is that Amazon is planning on introducing a new type of grocery store. This store will act like a convenience store. It also plans on offering curb side pickup service. The plan is to create small brick-and-mortar stores that will offer produce, meats, milk, and other perishable items that customers can pick up and take home.

Amazon wants to make the process of finding the grocery items that you want quick, easy, and modern. That’s why they are planning on allowing their customers to use their mobile phones to select the items that they want. If a customer chooses to not use their phone, then the thinking is that they can use the touchscreen systems that will be installed in every store to pick out the items that they are looking for. The plan is to allow customers to also be able to order items that have a longer shelf life and be able to have same day delivery of these items.

Amazon understands that for many of their customers, time is a precious thing. What this means is that Amazon plans on offering designated drive-in locations where online grocery shoppers will have the groceries that they have ordered brought out to their car Just to make things even faster, Amazon is planning on using license plate reading technology to help speed up the lines at these locations. Initially, the only people who will be able to shop at Amazon’s grocery stores will be the people who are currently members of Amazon’s Fresh subscription service. Currently this service provides same day delivery of food at set times. If you are already an Amazon Prime member, you can subscribe to the Fresh service for $15 / month.

How Amazon Plans On Being Successful

What Amazon seems to be thinking is that people really don’t want to have to go to the effort of scheduling a trip to the grocery store, going, wandering up and down aisles searching for that they need, and then lugging it all home. What has the time for all that? Instead, Amazon believes that we simply want to pick up the food that we need on our way home from work. The Amazon product managers are going to be competing with the grocery discounters and, of course, with Walmart. Walmart has recently announced that they will expanding the number of locations where they plan on offering pick up service for groceries.

So how big is this market? Right now groceries account for about 20% of the average consumers spending. Online purchases of groceries currently only account for 2% of U.S. grocery store sales. The people who study such things think that the online grocery market could double to over US$42B this year. Going after that market would look good on anyone’s product manager resume. Right now 8% of people say that they get their groceries delivered to them. However, 26% expect to do it this year.

The reason that the Amazon product managers are so interested in getting into the grocery market is because consumers restock their refrigerator each week. What this means is that Amazon will have more opportunities to sell more profitable items along with staples like milk. Americans average 1.5 visits to the grocery store each week. They tend to spend $107. This means that they spend a total of $5,500 per year. This is double the $2,500 that Amazon Prime members tend to spend with Amazon and 10x the amount that non-Prime members spend. Amazon is very aware of the dot.com firms such as Webvan that have tried this in the past and failed. Amazon is taking it slow and hopes to be successful.

What All Of This Means For You

Amazon is a very large and successful company. However, its product managers have looked at their product manager job description and realized that in order for the company to remain successful they are going to have to find and conquer new markets. This is why Amazon is in the process of exploring how best to enter the grocery business. Even though they have purchased Whole Foods, they still want to try to build their own unique grocery stores from the ground up.

Amazon wants to create a new type of grocery store that acts like a convenience store. These stores will allow consumers to order on their mobile phones and pick up using curb side service. The stores will offer items with short shelf lives like milk and meat. Items with longer shelf lives can be delivered directly to a customer’s home. Amazon understands that time is critical to their potential customers. That’s why they are trying to make the grocery shopping experience as quick and painless as possible. By entering into this space, Amazon is going to be competing directly with Walmart. This is a very large market and people visit the grocery store more than one time a week. This means that Amazon can start to sell more costly items. Consumers spend a lot on groceries each year and Amazon wants to capture a portion of that.

The grocery business is a tough business to be in. Home delivery can be challenging and costly. However, Amazon has deep pockets and if any company can do this, then they are probably the ones who can pull it off. Amazon is going to have to be very patient and take the time to really learn what their customers want from a grocery store

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Product Management Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that Amazon should focus on selling perishable or non-perishable foods first?

Click here to get automatic updates when
The Accidental Product Manager Blog is updated.

P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Product Manager Newsletter are now available. It’s your product – it’s your career. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

So what do small children want to play with? In the past the answer to this question was fairly easy: dolls, trucks, and of course Lego bricks. In fact, the Legos Company has seen its sales rise for the past 13 years. That would have looked good on anyone’s product manager resume. However, recently something happened: they reported a drop in sales. All of a sudden this changes everything in terms of their product development definition. It appears as though today’s youth have become distracted by other items such as cell phones and video games and perhaps the multicolored Lego blocks don’t hold as much of an attraction as they used to. What should the Lego product managers do?

What Can India’s Paytm Mobile Payment System Teach Product Managers?

Paytm is trying to take the place of cash in India
Paytm is trying to take the place of cash in India
Image Credit: Kiran Jonnalagadda

I live in the U.S. When I want to buy something, I have roughly four different options for how I can pay for it: cash, a check, credit cards, or PayPal. In India, they have traditionally only had one option: cash. In the past few years, the global credit card companies have started to arrive in India, but it has been slow going and not that many stores accept credit cards and not that many people have credit cards. This has opened the door for online payment solutions to start to offer their services. Paytm is one such firm and their product managers have done an excellent job of conquering the Indian payment market.

How Paytm Become So Successful

As is the case with every startup, just a short time ago Paytm didn’t even exist. Paytm was launched in India in 2010. The original goal of Paytm was to provide a mobile phone recharge and bill payments service. When this offering took off, Paytm changed their product development definition and expanded to provide payment services for buying movie tickets and paying an electricity bill. Paytm could also be used to buy groceries or transfer money that you owed to someone.

The rapid growth of Paytm has been impressive. Currently, over five million merchants in India accept payment using Paytm. This becomes even more impressive when you realize that this is 5x the number that currently accept credit cards. Paytm currently has 225 million mobile wallet customers. This is 4x the number of customers that the nearest Indian mobile payment company has. All of this would look good on a product manager resume.

Paytm was just another online payment system in the early days. However, then Uber, the ride sharing application, came to India. The company got into a disagreement in 2014 with India’s central bank who put restrictions how they were going to accept credit card payments. Paytm approached Uber and offered to allow their customers to use Paytm’s mobile wallet as a way of getting around the problem that they were having with using credit cards. This allowed Paytm to capture a new group of tech savvy consumers.

Challenges That Paytm Faces Going Forward

India is a very, very large country. What this means for the Paytm product managers is that they are going to be facing a number of big challenges as they go forward. One of the biggest challenges is that they are not the only Indian startup that is trying to attract customers to use their online payment system. Other competitors include the firms MobiKwik and FreeCharge. In addition, Samsung has just launched their Samsung Pay in India. Additionally, other popular mobile applications such as WhatsApp are also thinking about launching online payment services.

One big challenge that Paytm may be facing in the future will be coming from the Indian government. The government has launched mobile payments system. This allows users to transfer money between user’s bank accounts. Once again, since there are so many people in India, there will probably always be enough people to keep all of the competitors to Paytm in business and competing with Paytm.

The Indian financial system has been undergoing some significant changes lately and these can both help and harm Paytm. The Indian government has decided to take steps in order to both cut corruption and do a better job of collecting taxes from citizens. In order to make this happen, the Indian government cancelled 86% of the currency that was in circulation. Paytam hopes that this move will cause people to start to stop using cash and start to use the Paytm service to make purchases.

What All Of This Means For You

The Indian market is very, very large and very, very diverse. Attempting to create a product that will succeed in this market is a huge challenge for any product manager. The company Paytm has decided that it wants to compete with cash in India to become the most popular way to complete sales transactions. It has a good start, but the Paytm product managers are going to have to take a good look at their product manager job description because they still face a number of challenges.

Paytm is a brand new company – it was started in 2010. It started out as a way to pay your mobile phone bill and has grown into an application that can be used to pay for just about anything. The company has millions of users and over 5 million stores that support using it to make payments. Paytm was just another online payment company until they partnered with Uber in order to make paying for rides easy to do. Paytm faces challenges in dealing with other companies in India who are competing for the same customers. The biggest of these competitors may turn out to be the Indian government who has also launched their own mobile payment application. The changes that the Indian government has been making to its currency may turn out to drive more people to making payments using online services.

The Paytm product managers have done an excellent job of getting their online payment service started in India. Now that they have reached a good size, the types of challenges that they are facing will start to change. They are going to have to deal with new competitors and find out how to retain all of the customers that they have already been able to gain. India is such a large market that there is a great deal of potential for Paytm to turn into a very large success!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Product Management Skills™

Question For You: What other services can Paytm start to offer in order to distinguish themselves from their completion?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Hopefully by now we are all aware that Amazon has purchased Whole Foods and has gotten into the grocery business in a big way. However, what a lot of product managers may not be aware of is that Amazon’s grocery dreams don’t stop with Whole Foods. Instead, they have their own plans about changing their product development definition and finding out what an Amazon grocery store that they built from the ground up would look like. What lessors are product managers going to be able to learn as we watch Amazon expand even further into the grocery business?

Could Your Next Chair Come From Amazon?

Could Amazon become the next big furniture seller?
Could Amazon become the next big furniture seller?
Image Credit: Buck Lewis

At some point in time we all have the need to get some furniture. When this happens to you, what do you do? Where do you go to get furniture? If you are like a lot of us there is probably some local store that runs a million ads on TV or in the newspaper that is the place that we all start our search at. However, what if you could start your search someplace where you already buy a lot of things? What if you could go to Amazon and buy that chair, table, or dresser that you’ve decided that you need?

Why Amazon Is Getting Into Furniture

Amazon, the company that started out sending you books in the mail, has decided that it wants to be the place that you go to buy furniture. This means that they are gearing up to change their product development definition and make a big push into the furniture and appliance market. What this push means is that Amazon has gone ahead and built four of their massive warehouses just to hold bulky furniture items.

This means is that Amazon is preparing to go to war with the two firms that currently dominate the online furniture business: Wayfair Inc. and Williams-Sonoma. The reason that Amazon has become interested in this new market is because online furniture sales is one of the fastest growing segments of the online market. This segment grew by 18% in 2015 – competing in this market would look good on anyone’s product manager resume. That growth makes it second to the fast growing online grocery business. Right now, roughly 15% of the 70B U.S. furniture business has moved online.

What makes the furniture market segment so interesting for product managers is that there are not yet answers for all of questions that currently exist. There are big issues that all of the major players are still struggling with. Other markets like books, videos, and clothes have well established rules for how to sell these items online. However, the world of online furniture is so new that nobody has all of the answers yet. Basic questions like just exactly how much variety should be offered to customers is not yet clear. The biggest open question has to do with trying to find the most efficient way to deliver furniture to customers.

Why Amazon Thinks That It Will Be Successful In Furniture

Amazon has been selling furniture for a number of years. However, they have recently noticed that furniture has become one of the fastest-growing retail categories at Amazon. This is the reason that they have now decided to move more completely into this segment. Not only will the Amazon product managers be selling popular furniture lines such has Ashley furniture and Johnathan Adler, but they will also be offering custom furniture design services.

In the broader home furnishings category, Amazon already has a 17% market share. One of the things that the Amazon product managers need to be aware of about the furniture market is that it is different from all of the other markets that they are currently competing in. A key factor is that it is going to cost Amazon a lot more to deliver a couch or other large furniture item in part because such items take up a lot of space and so a driver will be able to make fewer deliveries. An additional factor is that furniture customers often want the furniture brought into the house, unpacked, and then to have the trash taken away.

Right now shoppers are indicating that they are still willing to pay for shipping of large furniture items. However, more and more they are indicating hey are not willing to wait for delivery – it has to be fast! Right now Amazon is offering free shipping on all orders over $25 and on all orders for Amazon Prime customers. Note that items that ship from 3rd party providers may have a shipping fee associated with them.

Initially Amazon is expected to rely on 3rd party logistics providers to handle distribution centers and to make deliveries of furniture and appliances to customers. Over time, Amazon is expected to bring more of its logistics in house. As the sales of furniture items goes up, the cost associated with delivering the furniture goes down. The reason that these 3rd party providers are becoming so important to Amazon is because both FedEx and UPS have been complaining that large and bulky items tend to clog their distribution centers which were designed to process millions of smaller packages.

What All Of This Means For You

Furniture items are big. They are awkward to move and they are a real challenge to deliver to customers. These facts make it all the more amazing that Amazon, the company that became huge by delivering books and DVDs, has decided to become a big part of the online furniture market. This is going to change everything both for customers and for the established players in this market. Looks like their product managers are going to have to go back and take a look at their product manager job description in order to figure out how to be successful.

In order to prepare to deliver more furniture, Amazon has gone ahead and constructed four large warehouses. They will now be competing directly with Wayfair Inc. and Williams-Sonoma for the online furniture market. The online furniture market is growing rapidly. There are still a number of questions that need to be answered like how much variety to offer and how to deliver the big, bulky items. Amazon will be selling popular furniture lines like Ashley furniture and Johnathan Adler. The Amazon product managers need to realize that furniture deliveries cost a great deal and customers often want a lot of delivery service. Shipping costs may be an issue with large furniture items. Amazon is going to start thing off by relying on 3rd party firms to manage their furniture and make deliveries.

The online furniture market is so large that there was no way that Amazon could keep ignoring it. Their entry into this new market is going to fundamentally change how it operates. The Amazon product managers are going to have to realize that the furniture market is fundamentally different from all of their other markets and make the necessary adjustments. If they can do all of this, then the next time you need some furniture, you just might find yourself going online to Amazon to get it!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Product Management Skills™

Question For You: What can Amazon do to make their online furniture offerings stand out?

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The Accidental Product Manager Blog is updated.

P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Product Manager Newsletter are now available. It’s your product – it’s your career. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Hopefully by now we are all aware that Amazon has purchased Whole Foods and has gotten into the grocery business in a big way. However, what a lot of product managers may not be aware of is that Amazon’s grocery dreams don’t stop with Whole Foods. Instead, they have their own plans about changing their product development definition and finding out what an Amazon grocery store that they built from the ground up would look like. What lessors are product managers going to be able to learn as we watch Amazon expand even further into the grocery business?

Product Managers Attempt To Solve The Toy Problem

Product managers attempt to get customers to shop for toys all year long
Product managers attempt to get customers to shop for toys all year long

Image Credit: bygloricom

Product managers for stores that sell toys have an interesting problem on their hands. Sure, when Christmas swings around, their stores are going to be filled with parents who are searching for the next hot toy for their children this year. However, once Christmas has come and gone, just exactly how are the product managers supposed to get people to come into their stores? A new type of product, called tiny collectables, just might be the thing to do the trick.

Product Managers Celebrate The Arrival Of Tiny Collectables

Tiny collectables have arrived at toy stores. The tiny collectables go by many different names including Shopkins, Num Noms, and Tsum Tsum. Although they have only just arrived in toy stores, sales of products like these accounted for US$142M in sales last year. It turns out that this is actually a very small slice of the $25B U.S. toy industry. However, it is these toys that are causing people to seek out and come into toy stores.

The tiny collectable products generally have low price points. Often between $2 – $5. This allows shoppers to treat them as collectables. Retailers are seeing shoppers return to their stores over and over again to get more of the tiny collectables. The reason that they are returning is that they want to purchase the tiny collectables that they need in order to complete a series.

Toy stores make roughly half of their money in the months around Christmas. The reason that tiny collectables are so important is that they are bringing in customers throughout the year. When a customer buys tiny collectables, they are generally buying what are called “blind packs”. This means that the customer does not know what tiny collectable characters are inside. One of the things that makes blind packets attractive to retailers is that unlike pricier toys they generally don’t have to discount them and so this can keep their profits steady.

How Tiny Collectables May Save Toy Stores

As the popularity of tiny collectables has grown, toy store product managers have started to devote more shelf space to these types of products. As their popularity has increased, more brands of tiny collectables have been launched. Blind packs are now available that feature characters that are based on children’s movies and well-established toys such as Legos.

The people who study toy markets believe that there is still room for the tiny collectable market to grow. They believe that some of today’s well established tiny collectable brands, such as Shopkins, may end up losing market share in the future as the shelves become more crowded with more varieties of tiny collectables. When customers are presented with more choices, it’s only going to be natural for sales to become more fragmented among multiple brands.

The tiny collectable market was originally created by the Australian toy maker Moose Enterprise. They are the company who created the Shopkins line of tiny collectables which put them on the map starting in 2014. The figures that they created were simple and based on items that could be found in a grocery store such as ketchup and butter. The company has expanded into larger dolls, playsets, and has established licenses for apparel and accessories. This has allowed the company to record over $1B in sales.

What All Of This Means For You

Product managers for toy stores have always had a problem. They have no problems getting people to come shop at their stores at Christmas time; however, they’d like them to drop by during the rest of the year also. Their prayers may have been answered by the arrival of a new type of product. Tiny collectables don’t cost a lot, but because people are collecting them they will be willing to drop by the toy store multiple times in order to collect new items.

Although tiny collectables only represent a small part of the very large U.S. toy market, they are they toys that are causing people to visit toy stores over and over again. Tiny collectables don’t cost a lot and this allows people to start collections. When people buy tiny collectables they buy them in “blind packs” and so they really don’t know exactly what they are buying. The popularity of tiny collectables has meant that they are now getting more and more shelf space dedicated to them. This market will grow, but the established players will probably lose market share. One of the most popular lines, Shopkins, was created by the Australian company Moose Enterprise. They have expanded their product lines and are now making a lot of money.

In the toy world, product managers always have to be careful about fads. Toys can be hot one minute, and the sitting on the shelf the next. Tiny collectables appear to have a great deal of life in them because of the customer demand and the fact that there are so many different varieties of them. Product managers need to use the popularity of these toys to get customers to come into their toy stores more often and to buy more toys when they do come. The opportunity has been presented to them, now toy store product managers just need to make the most of it.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Product Management Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that a toy store could ever have too many different types of tiny collectables?

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P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Product Manager Newsletter are now available. It’s your product – it’s your career. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

.At some point in time we all have the need to get some furniture. When this happens to you, what do you do? Where do you go to get furniture? If you are like a lot of us there is probably some local store that runs a million ads on TV or in the newspaper that is the place that we all start our search at. However, what if you could start your search someplace where you already buy a lot of things? What if you could go to Amazon and buy that chair, table, or dresser that you’ve decided that you need?

Google Product Managers Look For The Next Big Thing

Google product managers need to find out what everyone wants next
Google product managers need to find out what everyone wants next
Image Credit: PROid-iom

I’m going to assume that by now we all have some form of a smartphone in our possession. No matter what type of smartphone you have, they can all do a lot: take pictures, surf the internet, and run countless apps. However, what comes next? Over at Google, the company that become famous for making it easy to search the internet, they also happen to make phones. Even as you read this the Google phone product managers are struggling to figure out what the next big thing is going to be.

Can You Hear Me Now?

The Google product managers are finding themselves with new competition these days. Traditionally everyone has always gone to the Google home page when they wanted to find something on the web or get an answer to a question. However, the product managers at both Amazon and Apple have been hard at work to change how people accomplish this task. Apple started things off by adding the Siri voice activated feature to their popular iPhone. Simply by speaking a question, an iPhone user can have their phone automatically translate their spoken command into a computer search command. Likewise, the Amazon product managers have created the Echo in-home listening device that waits for you to ask it a question and then searches the web for an answer. Now that’s something to put on your product manager resume!

The Google product managers have been watching all of this and they get it. They can see how popular both Siri and Echo have been. They realize that if they don’t do something quickly then all too quickly Google may no longer be a key tool that people use to search the web. In order to address this problem, the Google product managers have rolled out their answer: a wireless speaker called Home. At the same time they rolled out two versions of the Google smartphone called Pixel that has a feature called Assistant baked into it. Each of these devices is designed to leverage Google’s work in artificial intelligence (AI) in order to respond to a user’s voice commands.

Google leaders have stated that they believe that the world is changing. They believe that we are evolving from a mobile-first to an AI-first world. The Google product managers are starting things late in this race. This is a big deal because Google generated 90% of its revenue via advertising that it got by displaying ads when people used Google tools to search the web. The Google product managers want to hang on to their customers by convincing people to start to use their Assistant technology to use their voice to search the web. Back in the day, Google was not the first company to offer tools to search the web, but they did become the biggest. The Google product managers are hoping that they’ll be able to do the same thing when it comes to voice activated web searching.

What Will The Future Look Like?

With the arrival of all of this voice activated technology, what do the Google product managers believe that our future is going to look like? Google likes to talk about what it calls its knowledge graph which is an index of more than a billion web entries. However, the experts who are looking at the voice activated product market agree that Google is going to have to move quickly. Google is going to have to find ways to change their product development definition to use their Assistant technology across its entire product line.

One of the things that may be holding the future back is that the Google product managers have not chosen to incorporate the Assistant technology into the base Android operating system. If they had done that then all of the apps that run on the Android operating system could make use of it. This is being viewed as being a big flaw in the product manager’s product plan. Everyone believes that Assistant needs to be made part of the Android operating system very quickly. To be successful, Assistant has to be made available everywhere.

The real power of Assistant for the Google product managers is that it is going to allow them to capture even more information about their customers. In order to make this happen, Google plans on making Assistant as useful as possible by linking it to other third party applications. Google is currently in discussions with Uber, Netflix, OpenTable, Facebook, and TicketMaster to incorporate voice commands that will work with their applications. The Google Home product’s first priority is going to be the playing of music. When its owner asks it to play music, it will launch that music from whatever music streaming source the owner has selected. These sources could include Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn, and iHeartRadio.

What All Of This Means For You

The world of the internet continues to change. Back in the day, when we wanted to search the internet we’d go to the Google home page and enter our search terms. However, the arrival of Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Echo products have all of sudden made searching using voice commands simple, accurate, and easy. It sure sounds like it’s time for the Google product managers to go back and check their product manager job description. What are the Google product managers to do?

It turns out that the Google product managers have not been sleeping. They’ve seen what has been going on and have created their own voice activated product called Home. Coupled with a new feature called Assistant that is being worked into the newest Google Pixel phones, Google is getting ready to take on Apple and Amazon. If Google can convince people to use their Assistant technology, then they’ll be able to hold on to their existing customers and learn more about them. As cool as Google’s new voice activated technology is, the experts say that they are going to have to work it into all of their products. This means that it’s going to have to be worked into the Android operating system. Google needs to make Assistant part of all of their products.

Nobody can disagree that making a mobile phone support voice commands makes it a lot easier to use. Likewise, if when we are at home we can make things happen simply by saying out loud what we want to happen the our lives will become that much easier. The real challenge that the Google product managers are facing is that they are late to this party – Apple and Amazon are already there. Google has some fantastic technology that it can work into its voice command products, we’re going to have to see if this is going to be enough to allow Google to once again dominate this part of the internet search market.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Product Management Skills™

Question For You: What could the Google product managers do to make their voice command product different from Apple ad Amazon’s?

Click here to get automatic updates when
The Accidental Product Manager Blog is updated.

P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Product Manager Newsletter are now available. It’s your product – it’s your career. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Product managers for stores that sell toys have an interesting problem on their hands. Sure, when Christmas swings around, their stores are going to be filled with parents who are searching for the next hot toy for their children this year. However, once Christmas has come and gone, just exactly how are the product managers supposed to get people to come into their stores? A new type of product, called tiny collectables, just might be the thing to do the trick.

How Can Product Managers Help Tiffany Once Again Become “Cool”?

Tiffany wants to sell more jewelry
Tiffany wants to sell more jewelry
Image Credit: StevieWu

What makes a jewelry store cool? The 183 year-old Tiffany’s jewelry store has been cool for a very long time. They’ve been associated with very, very cool people like the actress Audrey Hepburn and that has made them very successful. However, as of late they seem to have lost their cool factor. What can the Tiffany product managers do to change their product development definition and help the store reclaim its “cool”?

What Went Wrong At Tiffany

So this discussion starts with the simple question: what happened at Tiffany & Co.? They’ve lost the things that made shopping at and buying from Tiffany cool. Back in the day a girl’s heart would skip a couple of beats when she was presented with the classic Tiffany blue box. No matter what was in it, it was going to be wonderful and she was going to be able to brag about it to all of her friends for the next few weeks. However, something has changed and that cachet is no longer associated with Tiffany.

The people who study such things tell us that what seems to have happened is that Tiffany has changed what it sells. Specifically, 45% of what Tiffany sold last year came from jewelry categories that cost $530 or less. What this means is that Tiffany has been hurting its air of exclusivity by selling lower priced items. That’s not going to look good on anyone’s product manager resume. Now I do have to confess that if my wife came home one day showing off her brand-new $500 ring this would cause me to have a bit of a fit. However, in the world of jewelry it turns out that this really does not mean all that much. For example, over at one of Tiffany’s biggest competitors, Cartier, they probably don’t sell anything for less than $500!

What Tiffany has been trying to do is to find out how to strike a balance between offering both high-end and low-end items. In the past few years they have boosted their low-end lines by adding more gold and boosting their prices. Tiffany thought that they had been able to maintain the image of being a respected and highly desirable line. However, when consumers are queried they say that Tiffany has lost its cachet and that their styles have not changed very much over the years.

What The Product Managers Can Do To Get Tiffany’s Cool Back

The Tiffany product managers realize that what they need to do going forward is to attract the attention of the millennials. In order to make this happen they are going to have to find ways to get social media to work for Tiffany. What has been discovered is that millennials need to see famous people using a product before they will be tempted to use the product themselves. What this means is that the Tiffany product managers have to find an “endorser” that the millennials will be willing to believe in.

Tiffany also currently has 310 retail stores. In order to be successful the Tiffany product managers know that they have to move beyond their stores in order to sell even more. One way that they’ve gone about doing this is to offer some of their products at an edgy fashion boutique called Dover Street Market. The product managers also realize the importance of being able to sell more items online. In order to make this happen they have allowed some designs to be sold via the Net-a-Porter fashion website.

One of the challenges that the product managers are dealing with is that Tiffany is not selling a great deal of new designs. In fact, new designs only represented 10% of what they sold last year. As many customers have remarked, a number of the items that Tiffany is selling today first debuted back in the 1960’s. A lot of a customer’s desire to buy is driven by the “newness” associated with a design. In order to fix this problem, the product managers have now created a new research center that is located close to Tiffany’s headquarters. The goal is to have the research center allow Tiffany to shorten their design cycle by allowing their design and production teams to work together.

What All Of This Means For You

Tiffany is a very famous jewelry story. It has been around for over 100 years and in the past it has been associated with many of the most famous movie actresses. In the past, when someone received a gift that came in a blue Tiffany box, it was considered to be a very special gift. However, time has moved on and Tiffany appears to have lost some of its cool factor. It is now up to the Tiffany product managers to take a look at their product manager job description and find out how Tiffany can get its cool back.

There are a number of reasons that Tiffany has lost its cool factor. Part of the problem is that in order to boost their sales, Tiffany has started to sell more of their lower end products. The result of this has been that they have ended up losing some of their cachet. The competition has not done this and they are still seen as offering exclusive products. The Tiffany product managers are starting to take steps to fix their problems. The first thing that they are doing is to start to put social media to work for them by enlisting the help of various endorsers. Next, they are trying to expand their sales beyond the 310 retail stores that they operate. Finally, they have started to try to create newer lines of jewelry more quickly in order to offer their customers more new things.

Tiffany has been around for a long time. The challenges that they are facing now are serious, but probably not fatal. The brand still has enough allure that their products are seen as being very valuable. The Tiffany product managers only need to change the way that their potential customers view the brand. The steps that they are already taking will move them in that direction. If they can keep at it, then the Tiffany brand can once again become “cool”.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Product Management Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that Tiffany should sell online under their brand name or should they create a new brand for their online products?

Click here to get automatic updates when
The Accidental Product Manager Blog is updated.

P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Product Manager Newsletter are now available. It’s your product – it’s your career. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

I’m going to assume that by now we all have some form of a smartphone in our possession. No matter what type of smartphone you have, they can all do a lot: take pictures, surf the internet, and run countless apps. However, what comes next? Over at Google, the company that become famous for making it easy to search the internet, they also happen to make phones. Even as you read this the Google phone product managers are struggling to figure out what the next big thing is going to be.