e-Book

Becoming Product Led: What It Means and How to Get There

To say the road to launching a new automobile company is littered with failed startups would be a misstatement. That’s because few entrepreneurs would be crazy enough to introduce a new car company. The capital costs, logistical and distribution complexities, deep-pocketed incumbents, and political hurdles appear insurmountable to any rational person. And yet, just five years after introducing its first vehicle, a startup boasted the highest customer rating in the industry. And just a few years after that, topped Ford’s valuation. Tesla changed everything.

Rather than just make a product, Tesla delivers a product experience.

This means every aspect of the company—from sales to branding to manufacturing to maintenance—considers the customer’s needs. Instead of entrusting its brand to third-party dealers, Tesla sells directly to consumers. Instead of strong-arming customers into buying the latest model, it delivers product updates as simply as updating an app.

And to continuously improve the experience over time, Tesla analyzes usage data from each and every vehicle and regularly collects feedback from its customers. This meticulous process has led to numerous new features, from the practical (“dog mode” keeps the car cool when you leave a pet inside) to the promotional (in-car video games!) to the profane (let’s just say wunderkind Elon Musk’s penchant for bathroom humor found its way into the Model 3).

In short, Tesla has upended how we think about a car by transforming it from a one-time purchase to an ongoing experience. And it did so by putting the product at the center of every single business function.

What Is a Product-led Strategy?

So what is a product-led strategy? It’s an overarching approach to running a modern business that puts the product experience at the very center of the organization. For a product-led company, nothing matters more than delivering a product that anticipates and answers—in a simple, intuitive, and enjoyable way—the evolving needs of its users. Success requires focusing every part of an organization on the product so that it becomes a primary means of acquiring and retaining customers, driving growth, and influencing organizational priorities. The product is not just one part of the customer experience; it is the experience.

But the benefits of adopting a product-led strategy go beyond building products users love. Radically reorganizing your company around your product can help increase communication, bring you closer to your customers, and improve collaboration by providing product and go-to-market teams with a common view of success—and a common vehicle to get there.

This resource is meant to help you along your product-led journey. You will learn how to assess what product led means for your company, as well as the ways in which this strategy can help you grow. We’ll also present specific steps to take across your organization and within individual teams. Along the way, you’ll get tips for applying product-led practices over the long term.

The Rise of the Product-led Company

The product-led strategy wasn’t always so dominant. Until recently, companies could hide product limitations behind a smokescreen of marketing campaigns. But prioritizing new customers over successful users has a way of catching up with you. Product-led companies are more durable because their customers are more loyal. Here are three reasons why.

Complete the form to continue reading