Strategy-Essence is the core of a product line strategy.a

Product Line Strategy-Essence and Innovation 4.0

This blog supports the blog: Innovation 4.0 and Product Line Pivots

The core of a product line strategy has three critical parts. When coupled and as a whole, these parts are called the Strategy-Essence.

  1. Attribute-Positioning
  2. Platform-Leverage
  3. Chain-Link (Organizational) Alignment and Synergy

Each part adds to a product line strategy’s effectiveness. But great strategies also gain unison across the parts. And the unison boosts the whole.

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Attribute-Positioning

What is Attribute-Positioning?

A single product seldom satisfies all customers. Therefore, teams must match many product features to their many customers. Smart Attribute-Positioning coordinates the matches in a coherent manner. The goal is to have each product complement the others without over burdening the line.

Why is Attribute-Positioning important?

Product lines serve many customers with different needs. And teams use their insights about customer needs to split the market into segments. Product line teams then form strategies to develop and deliver products with unique features to match each segment. As customer needs change, so too will the segments and the products that serve each segment’s needs.

How does Innovation 4.0 affect Attribute-Positioning?

Innovation 4.0 technologies can create more customer-data that are more insightful. New methods built into products and services then help teams gain real-time product use and consumer choice data. These data may also combine with powerful Jobs-to-be-Done segment analytics. Insights from this combined approach then drive idea generation and match concepts to segment needs. The result is a more impactful strategy.

What impact does Attribute-Positioning have on the two other Strategy-Essence parts?

When product positioning changes, so too must sales and distribution. They need to realign to match the segments change. Platform-Levers may also need to change so teams can create new products that target new segments. You’ll also see new customer-need data help teams to define a new Platform-Lever’s specifications. Plus, new analytics will often help improve the customer’s product and service experience.

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Platform-Leverage

What are Platform-Levers?

Platform-Levers are common factors that cut across products. They help teams develop superior products faster and at a lower cost. There are many types of Platform-Levers. Learn more HERE. To gain the desired leverage, new Platform-Levers may need management to create new roles, methods, and systems.

Why is Platform-Leverage important?

Good Platform-Levers help product lines win advantage over competitive products. The leverage enables products to have great performance per unit cost. But it takes much thinking and intense focus to orchestrate good Platform-Levers.

How does Innovation 4.0 affect Platform-Leverage?

Teams may engineer many Innovation 4.0 technologies into Platform-Levers. Consider AI and factory automation. Both could be made into powerful Platform-Levers. But the challenge can be significant. It demands thinking and planning that cuts across many products. Thankfully, the new Platform-Levers may serve as a cornerstone to a product line’s complete renewal.

What impact does Platform-Leverage have on the two other Strategy-Essence parts?

As a product line’s Platform-Levers change, so too must the other Strategy-Essence parts. New Platform-Levers can help products satisfy new and different customer needs, demanding new positioning and segmentation. You may also see the skills and functions to support new Platform-Levers must change.

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Chain-Link Alignment and Synergy

What is Chain-Link Alignment and Synergy?

Product lines gain a notable boost when different functions within an organization complement one another to support the line. Strategists call this ‘Chain-Link’ alignment. See more HERE. It’s when the product line strategy is one of the many links within a business unit “strategy chain.” Other links, with their own strategies, include (but are not limited to) operations, sales, IT, and finance.

Why is Chain-Link Alignment and Synergy important?

Chain-Link misalignment may undercut a product line strategy’s effectiveness. You’ll see each Chain-Link use Innovation 4.0 technologies to improve its own performance. They’ll do this with technologies such as digitalization and data analytics. But depending on the technology’s implementation, the improvement may not help the product line. If you wish to boost a product line, each Chain-Link needs a clear understanding of the Strategy-Essence. And Chain-Links must reflect the understanding in their Innovation 4.0 rollout.

How does Innovation 4.0 affect Chain-Link Alignment and Synergy?

Innovation 4.0 technology changes how people work within and across functions. It’s important to make sure the change boosts product line performance.

What impact does Chain-Link Alignment and Synergy have on the two other Strategy-Essence parts?

Great alignment across functions should strengthen a product line’s performance. And poor alignment will harm the line. As each Chain-Link embraces Innovation 4.0, teams must guide the changes to enable better product line performance. Also, some Innovation 4.0 changes may reform whole business models. This may then demand product lines to undergo radical changes and pivots.

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