Building great products can be a reality for any company that takes the time and effort to create and execute the linkages between: winning strategy; the role of products and services; the product building blocks; and, linkages to customer needs. In fact, our research and work with clients suggests that a lack of alignment of these factors is the number one cause for the poor performance of many new products. This article defines for the reader the four winning strategy choices a company has – Product Leader, Distribution Giant, Innovation Superstar and Customer Lover and how each of these models puts a different emphasis on products and services. Once a company has selected a winning strategy, executing that strategy successfully requires adherence to the business model, including aligning product and services, customer imperatives and financial realities to that winning strategy model. Losing focus and drifting away from the chosen strategy or interspersing, for example, the product priorities from one winning strategy with the customer imperatives from another is a recipe for lackluster earnings and poor stock performance. Readers will learn how to outsmart the competition and build products that really win in the marketplace.
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