You are a Product Manager of a company with products that have high market share and margin, in a niche market. The five core product lines have undergone very little change in the past decade yet still hold very high share. Competition has been small, but is growing quickly.
The company has strong relationships with the top Original Equipment Manufacturers in the marketplace, but is not yet seen as an innovator of new products. These top customers have entered a long product development cycle with emphasis on new product innovation instead of the typical incremental changes that typified the past 10 – 15 years.
Your Main Goals are:
1. Creating strategies to maintain share in the core lines, while introducing the next generation products
2. Conducting research that will lead to proposals for new innovative products
3. Exploring avenues to introduce current or new products to adjacent markets
What would be your first major step in the above scenario? See my answer below?
In no particular order, I would:
- Study the product lines for sales, margin, customer performance and look for trends and discontinuities.
- Study the competition and the next best alternative to our products and services.
- Are we better or were we just here first? Is it sustainable?
- What is the barrier to entry for new competition?
- Study market data to determine trends and upcoming irregularities.
- Meet with company sales managers and field sales force to learn what they have heard from our customers.