New products are the lifeblood of any business - they enable companies to constantly evolve to better meet customer needs and expectations, increase their market share and gain a decisive advantage over the competition.
However, out of the thousands of products that come onto the market every year, it is estimated that approx70%-80%of them fail. Careful planning is essential to mitigate risk and increase the chances of success, and this can only happen when a business is solidproduct development strategyin place.
Successful companies rely on well-defined product development strategies to organize user and market research, understand their customers' pain points and expectations, and accurately plan the resources and time needed to develop the product.
7 product development examples and strategies of well-known companies
If you're looking for some real-world inspiration, we've rounded up sevenExamples of product developmentsby companies from different sectors. Learn how they deliver superior value to their customers, innovate and drive growth while putting the customer firstnew product development process.
Our firstProduct development exampleis a big one. Founded in 1998 by Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Google started as an online search company but today offers hundreds of products and services including Gmail, YouTube, the Android operating system, the Chrome web browser and more. Google's broad product portfolio makes it one of the world's leading companies in the high-tech market. In order to maintain its competitive advantage, the company constantly innovates. But how do they develop all these successful products?
Leverage technical insights that help solve a big problem in novel ways, optimize for scale, not revenue, and let great products grow the market for everyone.
Erich Schmidt, former Google CEO and co-author of How Google Works
Google's product development strategy is technology-driven. Innovation is at the heart of the company and that means ensuring a steady flow of new technology products.
In hisfamous speechJoe Faith, a former product manager at Google, explains that the company does not follow a rigid process when developing its products. Instead, it follows a set of guiding principles and values. Here are three core values:
- Focus on the user. At a higher level, focusing on the user means reaching out to users and collecting data on their behavior, problems, and preferences in order to create a product that they will love and use. At a deeper level, it means optimizing for mass adoption, not monetization. What matters is how much value the product brings to its customers and how many people will use it.
- Think 10x. Google believes that true innovation comes from trying to improve something 10x instead of 10%. How is a product better? Is it ten times faster, lighter, cheaper? This10x approachis what motivates Google to go beyond existing models and reinvent an idea from scratch.
- Start and iterate. Google produces early versions of many of its products as quickly as possible and releases them as beta launches. After each launch, they listen carefully to users and make quick iterations to improve their products based on that feedback. Innovative technology products come with a high level of risk, and Google wants to know whether a solution is viable or not before investing time and resources in it.
Jeff Bezos started Amazon as an online bookstore in 1994. Since then, the company has grown into the world's largest online marketplace, AI assistant provider, live streaming platform and cloud computing platform. But what is the secret behind Amazon's worldwide success?
Amazon has developed a set of scalable and repeatable processes combined with14 Leadership Principlesthat the company uses every day, from discussing ideas for new projects to deciding the best approach to solving a problem.
The first Amazon leadership principle and the most important is customer obsession:Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customers' trust. Although executives watch out for their competitors, they are obsessed with customers.
It's no surprise that Amazon's product development strategy and approach is completely focused on customer needs.
Amazon's backwards working method
Amazon's approach to product development is called "work backwards.” Rather than starting with an idea for a new feature, product, or line of business, Amazon starts with the customer experience and works backwards from there.
The first step in the product development process is to write an internal press release announcing the launch of the new product. Press releases focus on the existing customer problem, why current solutions don't fix the problem, and how the new product would disrupt existing solutions.
When product managers find it difficult to write a press release or understand why a product would add value to customers, it means the product isn't worth the effort. They need to keep refining the document until they come up with ideas that generate value.
Once the project moves into development, the team can use the press release as a strategic guide. This document has a similar function to the product roadmap – it keeps team members informed and provides an overview of the direction, priorities and progress of the product.
Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with over 209 million subscribers in over 190 countries (July 2021). Netflix started as a DVD mail rental company in 1997. In 2007, the company changed its business model and decided to go digital with the introduction of streaming media. Customers can now access a wide range of movies, TV series and Netflix original content for one affordable, no-obligation monthly fee.
The product team fromNetflixprioritizes monthly retention as the company's top engagement metric, along with other metrics including growth and monetization. Let's look at some basic concepts Netflix follows in its product development process.
At the heart of Netflix's product development process isconsumer science– a method for experimenting, testing and learning. Product teams are constantly testing new ideas with customers and measuring statistically significant differences in the way they interact with the product. Ultimately, engagement and retention are the key metrics driving product success at Netflix.
- The product development process at Netflix usually starts with a hypothesis. The team is looking for ideas to increase member engagement and ultimately member retention.
- In a second step, the team designs a test to validate the hypothesis with real users. This step usually involves the rapid creation of a prototype that captures the essence of the product concept. The goal is not to create a perfect representation of the final product, but to validate ideas quickly.
- The third step is the test itself. Netflix makes the prototype available to a number of users to see how they use the product. Tests can have hundreds of thousands of users, and testers are organized into different cohorts to test different variants of a solution. The team uses various metrics to validate the hypothesis, but ultimately engagement and retention are the most important.
By testing product ideas with users, Netflix can make big bets, make decisions based on real customer value, and successfully innovate.
Netflix users can watch on-demand content on any device, and the experience will be personalized to suit their tastes. Personalization is a key element of Netflix's product strategy. The company uses machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to offer its customers personalized experiences and recommend shows or films based on their previous choices and browsing history. Higher personalization increases user retention, customer satisfaction, and retention.
As part of its product strategy, Netflix is currently placing a strong focus on original content. House of Cards, the company's first original series, launched in 2013. The show marked a pivotal turning point in Netflix's growth. The more content Netflix produces, the more subscribers it attracts and keeps. Ultimately, this increases sales, which allows the company to continue to develop innovative products and services and remain competitive in the market.
Zoom is a cloud-based conferencing tool that allows users to interact with each other virtually through audio, video, and chat. Founded by Eric Yuan in 2011 and launched in 2013, Zoom has become synonymous with video conferencing. In response to COVID-19, Zoom was named Frost & Sullivan's Company of the Year for 2020 and one of thebest tools for product managersIn theProduct price 2020.
From the moment we founded Zoom, our primary focus has been to provide a cloud video communications solution that makes customers happy. This focus has continued to guide all of our innovations, partnerships and other initiatives.
Eric Yüan, Founder and CEO of Zoom
Zoom's product strategy revolves around customer needs. Customers are at the center of all business and product development decisions. This principle inspired usEric Yüanto start Zoom in the first place.
Prior to founding Zoom in 2011, Eric Yuan served as VP of Engineering at video startup Webex, which was then acquired by Cisco. By interacting with consumers, he found that users were dissatisfied with existing video collaboration solutions. Inspired by solving user needs, Eric decided to found Zoom and build a video conferencing tool that worked, was easy to use, and cost-effective.
Over the years, the company has continued to expand its customer-centric model. The team listens carefullyProduct Feedbackand responds to improve the product and deliver better user experiences.
Zoom is an excellent example of thisproduct-driven growth– a business methodology where user acquisition, growth, conversion and retention are primarily driven by the product itself. Zoom offers its customers a hassle-free and easy connection. The platform and its core features are completely free for up to 100 participants and a maximum of 40 minutes. This allows users to experience the product, invite others to try it, or upgrade to a paid plan.
“This market is extremely crowded. In my opinion, without a freemium product, you will miss the opportunity to let many users test your products,” explains Eric Yuan in anInterview. “We make our freemium product work so well. That is why so many users visit our website almost every day. If they like our product, they will pay for the subscription very soon.”
Zoom's success also stems from its ability to adapt its product strategy to changing market conditions. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, video conferencing tools became the norm for business calls, school lessons, and gatherings with friends and family. After a surge in user demand, Zoom partnered with Oracle Cloud to support infrastructure capabilities and doubled down on security and privacy improvements. The company has also prioritized education, teaching its new users how to use the tool for teaching, working remotely, or hanging out with friends and family.
Market validationinvolves researching potential users of a new product to assess how viable the product idea would be in the target market.
Examples of new product developments
Now that we've seen some examples of how successful companies approach their product development, let's explore a fewExamples of new product developments, from companies that have pushed the boundaries of product development - and how they have innovated their current designs.
Founded in Amsterdam in 1996,Booking.comhas grown from a small startup into one of the world's leading digital travel companies. The company's mission is to make it easier for everyone to experience the world. In addition to accommodation, you can use Booking.com to book other parts of your trip, including flights, rental cars, public transport and attractions.
The Booking.com Rides team helps customers book transportation for their trips. The team is responsible for the taxi booking experience, among other things, and one problem they tried to solve was how to make it easy for customers to book a taxi for their rides through the app.
“When I joined the Rides team, we were in the process of developing the MVP for the Return Taxis feature,” he saysBen Zacharias, Senior Product Manager at Booking.com. They already had a similar product online to compare and they wanted to test two different hypotheses:
- The first related to whether customers wanted to book their round-trip taxi fare together
- The second considered whether customers wanted to search for a one-way trip first and then add a round trip once they had confirmed that first leg
To validate the hypothesis, Ben and his team created two different prototypes and ran usability tests. Due to time constraints, they tested both solutions at the same time. "This is a great example of how product development isn't always perfectly linear," says Ben.
After testing the solutions, the developers implemented them and released them as AB tests. Ben worked with the analyst as a team to analyze not only each trait, but the interaction between them. Once satisfied with the results, they released the solution that worked better for their customers.
concept testingallows you to validate product, design and marketing ideas early and save time and resources by moving forward with the right concepts.
6. Enter form
written formis an online software-as-a-service company that enables customers to create online forms, surveys, quizzes, landing pages and more. Logic is a key feature of Typeform - it makes it possible to create relevant, intelligent polls that react to respondents' answers. withthe logic mapping functionallows users to visualize and track the various logic flows as they design and edit their surveys.
The idea for developing the Logic Map feature came from Typeforms customers. "We knew this was something our customers wanted," he explainsGanna Kryklii, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Typeform. "Our customer support team saw that this was one of the top feature requests, so we decided to investigate the idea."
The first step was to conduct a week-long design sprint to understand how to develop the idea, which key components of a logical map are relevant to customers, and to estimate the cost in terms of time and resources. The design sprint was led by the UX designer and product manager but included researchers, product marketers and engineers.
I like the idea of having a design sprint and building a cross-functional team from day one to bring in different perspectives. This was crucial in coming to a conclusion and deciding what we wanted to build.
Ganna Kryklii, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Typeform
After the design sprint, the product team started working on the proposed solution. They built the prototype to test, refine, and validate the idea with real users. They then created the MVP and launched the first beta of the Logic Map feature.
Ganna and her team first released the feature to a small group of users and gradually increased it until it reached 100% of their audience. This allowed them to gather product feedback and resolve any issues before rolling out the feature to the entire user base.
Founded in 2015 by Nikolay Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko and headquartered in London,Revolutionis a financial technology company offering a range of online banking services including bank accounts, debit cards, toll-free currency exchange, stock trading and more.
Revolut also operates a prepaid card account for children calledRevolut Junior, designed for kids ages 7-17 to help them manage their money and build basic financial skills. Revolut Junior integrates directly with the main Revolut app, allowing parents to create an account for their kids, transfer money, access transactions and more.
"The Revolut Junior project included two directions of work: the development of the brand platform to understand how to position the product and the MVP definition of the functionality for children and parents," explainsRegina Smirnova, former lead product designer at Revolut.
To kick off work on the brand platform, the team conducted a workshop with key stakeholders to define core values, target groups, personality and long-term product direction usingTemplate for a three-hour brand sprintby Miro. The results helped the branding team define the visual style of the app and Revolut cards.
Das Double Diamond-Frameworkproved very valuable in building the MVP. “We built a new product from the ground up and wanted to launch an MVP that would be easy for the kids to understand and easy for the parents to set up,” says Regina.
- Diediscovery phaseincluded conducting competitive research and user interviews to gather meaningful data and insights. This information helped the team identify four user groups: children ages 6-10, 11-15, 16-18, and parents. Each user group was represented as a persona that the team could refer to during the product development process.
- In the definition phase, the team collected ideas for the functionality of the app and prioritized them based on customer benefit and development effort. They created the information architecture of the Revolut Junior app and a feature map for the parent's Revolut app. The feature map was originally divided into two parts: MVP and future releases.
- During the development phase, the product team created several potential solutions for the MVP version of the app and conducted usability tests with the youngest Revolut users and their parents.
- The delivery phase included preparing the product for launch and working closely with the engineering team on app development. The team organized a Friends and Family launch with Revolut employees and their children receiving their very first cards.
Build better products
Get fast, actionable feedback from real users by testing with Maze. Learn what problems and needs they face and validate your ideas before you start development.
New products are essential to the growth and success of your business. But to ensure you're building a product that delivers real value to customers, a strong product development strategy is key. We hope these sevenExamples from real product developmentserve as inspiration for your own product strategy. A key takeaway is to put customers at the center of your decision-making process and be willing to try and evolve new ideas. In this way, you can constantly improve your product and offer better solutions to your target group.
frequently asked Questions
What are the 7 best examples of product development?
What are the 7 best examples of product development?
Seven successful companies that can create and maintain a competitive advantage through product development are Google, Amazon, Netflix, Zoom, Booking.com, Typeform and Revolut. By putting customers at the heart of their product strategies, these companies create successful products that deliver new value.
What are the steps of product development?
What are the steps of product development?
Product development describes all the steps to take a product from idea or concept to market launch. The seven steps ofproduct development processThis includes idea generation, idea screening, concept development and testing, marketing strategy and business analysis, product development, test marketing and product launch.
How do you develop a product development strategy?
How do you develop a product development strategy?
To develop an effectiveproduct development strategy, you must first define your product vision and do thorough research on your customers, your target market, and your competitors. You can then set the product goals and use those goals to plan the product roadmap.