How to create an effective product strategy

Atlassian By Atlassian
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Having a well-defined product development strategy isn’t just nice to have—it’s critical for success. Poor planning, misaligned priorities, or failure to adapt to customer’s changing needs can lead to product failure.

A comprehensive, data-driven product strategy framework that aligns with your target audience and business goals can dramatically increase your chance of success in creating products that thrive in today’s hyper-competitive landscape.

This article will guide you through the essential elements of crafting an effective product strategy, from understanding your target market to setting clear product goals and using the right product management tools for long-term success.

What is a product strategy?

A product strategy is a high-level plan that defines your product’s vision, goals, and initiatives. It serves as a roadmap for product development, aligning teams and stakeholders around a common objective.

An effective product strategy integrates various aspects of product development, including market research, design, engineering, marketing, and sales. It is a central resource every stakeholder can reference throughout the product life cycle.

Taking a product from development to launch is a coordinated effort that requires input from various stakeholders over an extended period. Product development software like Jira helps teams navigate the complexities of the product development process and acts as the single source of truth during the product development life cycle. Jira also facilitates collaboration with cross-functional partners through its integration features, allowing teams to connect with other Atlassian products like Confluence.

Use the free product breakdown structure template.

Why is a product strategy important?

A well-defined product strategy is crucial for achieving business goals and staying competitive. It provides clarity and direction, ensuring everyone involved in the product development process is working toward the same objectives. A strong product strategy helps you prioritize initiatives, allocate resources effectively, and make informed decisions based on market insights and customer needs.

The anatomy of a successful product strategy

A successful product strategy consists of several key components that guide product development, including market vision, product goals, and initiatives.

Market vision

A clear market vision forms the foundation of a product strategy. It defines the target audience, their needs and pain points, and how your product addresses those challenges. This vision should align with your company’s overall mission and values.

Product goals

Setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals is essential for tracking progress and ensuring your product strategy stays on course. You should choose goals based on your market vision and prioritize them based on impact and feasibility.


Strategic initiatives are the actionable steps taken to achieve product goals. These initiatives should focus on developing product features, user experience improvements, and market expansion. Prioritizing initiatives based on their potential effect and alignment with your product vision is crucial for success.

Types of product strategies

Companies can adopt one of several types of product development strategies depending on their market position, target audience, and business objectives:

  • Market penetration: This strategy focuses on increasing market share within existing market segments.
  • Product development: This focuses on introducing new product features or products to meet your target audience’s evolving needs.
  • Market expansion: This involves entering new market segments or geographical areas to broaden your customer base.
  • Diversification: This requires the development of new products for new market segments to reduce reliance on a single product or market.
  • Cost competition: This strategy relies on offering products at a lower price point than competitors.
  • Quality differentiation: This focuses on differentiating products based on superior quality and performance.

How to build a product strategy

A product manager plays a key role in defining a product strategy and ensuring the team delivers a minimum viable product that meets customer needs. The sections below outline the key steps to building an effective product strategy.

Pro tip: Use product development software like Jira throughout the product strategy development process to streamline collaboration, improve visibility, and ensure your strategy remains agile and responsive to changing market conditions.

Define your vision

Creating a vision and mission that resonates with your team and your target audience is crucial because it provides a clear sense of purpose and direction. It aligns everyone’s efforts toward a common goal and ensures that the product development process remains focused on delivering value to customers in a way that supports the company's overarching objectives. This vision should articulate the core purpose of your product, the value it provides to customers, and how it aligns with your company’s mission.

To define your vision, start by clearly articulating the core purpose and value proposition of your product. Then, ensure the vision aligns with your company's broader mission and values. Next, craft an inspirational statement that captures the future state you envision for your product and its impact on customers. Finally, socialize the draft vision statement across your team and target users to refine it and ensure it resonates emotionally.

Product roadmaps in Jira, enhanced by Jira Timelines, help you define and communicate your product vision effectively to align your teams around a common goal. Jira Timelines allow for a visual representation of your product’s development over time, making it easier to see how each phase contributes to the overall vision.

Understand your market

Conduct thorough market research to understand your target audience’s needs, preferences, and behaviors. Analyze market trends, the competitive landscape, and potential opportunities for growth to gain an understanding of the market that will help you effectively define your target market.

Jira’s integrations with third-party apps like SurveyMonkey and Typeform allow you to gather customer feedback and market insights using your product management tool.

Craft your value proposition

Your value proposition should differentiate your product from the competition. By developing a unique value proposition, you can create products that resonate with your customers’ needs and communicate the benefits of those products to your target audience, highlighting how they address customer service needs and enhance their day-to-day lives.

To develop a unique value proposition:

  • Conduct thorough market research to gain insights into your customers’ needs, preferences, and behaviors.
  • Analyze the competitive landscape to identify gaps or areas where competitors are failing.
  • Highlight how your product or service solves a particular problem, improves people’s lives, or makes their tasks easier.
  • Emphasize the emotional and functional value you deliver that competitors cannot match. 
  • Continuously gather customer feedback and refine your value proposition to ensure it remains relevant and differentiated in an ever-changing market landscape.

Jira’s custom fields and issue labels highlight your product’s unique selling points to ensure they align with customer requirements. By tagging issues with specific customer needs, pain points, and requested features, you can easily map how your product’s capabilities map to your target audience’s expectations. This centralized view enables your team to iteratively refine the value proposition, ensuring it accurately reflects the unique benefits you aim to deliver. Jira’s search functionality further simplifies analyzing customer data to identify key differentiators and craft a compelling value proposition that sets your product apart.

Create product initiatives

Define strategic initiatives that align with your product goals and vision. You can focus these initiatives on performing key product development tasks:

  • Add new product features or edit existing ones to improve your product offering.
  • Enhance the user experience and interface to ensure user satisfaction.
  • Optimize performance and reliability to improve user experience.
  • Expand to new market segments or geographical regions to diversify your offering.

When creating product initiatives, it’s essential to collaborate with stakeholders from various teams, including marketing, sales, and customer support, to gather insights and ensure alignment. Next, examine buyer personas and analyze your company’s requirements to prioritize initiatives effectively. Then, prioritize initiatives based on their potential impact, alignment with your product vision, and feasibility given your team's capacity and resources. Finally, each initiative's rationale and expected outcomes should be clearly communicated to ensure stakeholder buy-in and alignment across the organization. You can use product management tools to keep track of these initiatives.

Use Jira Software’s boards and issues, complemented by customizable workflows, to track these initiatives. Customizable workflows ensure that each initiative follows a consistent process from conception to completion, enhancing team efficiency and product quality.

Monitor and adapt

Continuously monitor key performance metrics and actively solicit feedback from customers and internal stakeholders. Use this data to assess the effectiveness of your product strategy and pinpoint areas you need to adjust.

Stay agile. Be ready to refine your strategy in response to market shifts, evolving customer needs, and emerging opportunities. Also, ensure your strategy is time-bound, marked by clear deadlines and milestones for accountability.

Use Jira’s robust reporting features and customizable dashboards to keep your finger on the pulse of key metrics. These tools visualize trends so you can harness data-driven insights to make strategic decisions to refine and enhance your product strategy.

Create a successful product strategy with Jira

Do you want to build successful products that delight customers and dominate the market? It all starts with a rock-solid product strategy. But crafting a comprehensive plan that aligns your teams and drives long-term success is no easy feat. Try our product strategy template, which utilizes Jira, the leading product management tool for software development

Jira is trusted by millions of high-performing teams to organize work, keep workers aligned, and build better products faster. It’s a powerhouse of customization and connectivity designed to unlock new levels of efficiency for every team involved in the software development lifecycle. Jira brings everyone together under one roof, from developers to designers and marketers to managers.

So, how can Jira help you create a winning product strategy? It’s simple:

  1. Streamline collaboration: Jira makes it easy for teams to work together seamlessly, no matter where they are.
  2. Improve visibility: Jira gives a clear view of the big picture, allowing you to spot potential roadblocks and opportunities.
  3. Stay agile: Jira allows teams to remain flexible and responsive to changing market conditions so that you can pivot on a dime and stay ahead of the game.

Get started with Jira scrum boards

Product strategy: Frequently asked questions

What is an example of a product strategy?

Apple’s approach to the smartphone market is an excellent product strategy example. Apple focuses on creating premium, user-friendly devices with seamless integration across its ecosystem. This strategy involves continuous innovation, a strong brand identity, and a focus on customer experience.

What does a good product strategy look like?

A good product strategy is clear, specific, and aligned with your company’s mission and values. Creating a product strategy involves deeply understanding your target market, competitive landscape, and customer needs. A well-defined product strategy sets measurable goals, prioritizes initiatives, and allows for adaptability in the face of change.

What are the benefits of having a product strategy?

A product strategy offers several key benefits:

  1. Improved decision-making: A clear strategy provides a framework for making informed decisions about product development, resource allocation, and market opportunities.
  2. Better effort alignment: A shared product vision and strategy ensures that all teams and stakeholders work toward common goals.
  3. Increased competitiveness: By understanding your market and customers, you can develop products that differentiate you from competitors and meet evolving customer needs.
  4. Better resource allocation: A well-defined strategy helps prioritize initiatives and allocate resources based on their potential impact and alignment with your company’s goals.
  5. Faster time-to-market: With a clear roadmap and streamlined processes, you can develop and launch successful products more efficiently to stay ahead of the competition.