What Is A “Product Vision”?

Sometimes Products Need A Vision Also
Sometimes Products Need A Vision Also

I was working with a client the other day who had a unique problem: they needed a vision for their product. Now, I’m pretty familiar with the whole “vision” thing as it applies to a company – it’s that thing that you put on the wall that nobody ever reads. However, this was the first time that I had had someone ask me for one for a product.

My client had been supplying products to different firms that were operating in a market for years. However, they now saw the opportunity to start supplying bundles of their products (can you say “solutions”?) to their customers. However, they were going to be hard pressed to explain why they were all of a sudden showing up in the this market with these new solutions. What was there motivation?

Now we all know that the motivation was to make more money – all business operate this way. However, you can’t really make that the basis of an advertising campaign. Instead, my client needed a solid story that would provide a justification for what they were doing today as well as any future products they might roll out farther down the line.

I must confess that right off the bat I was stumped. I mean, a vision just for a line of products? I did a bit of poking around and I discovered that the firm’s CEO had been doing some talking at trade shows. His basic message had been that the market was broken and that it was going to take some fundamental changes in order to set things strengths.

Hey – this was something that I could use! With a bit of wordsmithing, I took the CEO’s words and turned them into a simple vision statement for the product line – we’re introducing these products to help fix what’s wrong in the marketplace. It had the right time frame for a vision (very long) and it pointed towards a goal that everyone in the market really wanted to move towards. It turns out that this was just about perfect – a feel good vision that could be used for  a very long time.

The client was happy, I got paid, and last I heard when the vision was revealed to customers they “got it” and accepted my client’s role in the market. Job well done!