Blog Product ManagementProduct Vision: 7 Essential Steps to Define Yours Successfully

Product Vision: 7 Essential Steps to Define Yours Successfully

Creating a compelling product vision is the cornerstone of successful products and startups. Discover the 7 critical steps to define a vision that inspires your team and resonates with your customers. Let's get into it!

Product Management
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What is a product vision and how to create a good one.

Vision is where great products start. It lays the groundwork and guides your team through tough times. Without a clear vision, startups are more likely to fail. In fact, about 95% of new products don't make it.

At Featurebase, we understand the importance of a strong vision for your product. It helps point your product in the right direction from the start and increases its chances of doing well in the market. 

As such, in this guide, we will share some critical steps and advice on how to create a product vision that excites your team and appeals to your customers. 👇


What is a product vision?

A product vision is a clear and concise statement that describes a product's long-term mission, goals, and desired impact. It serves as a North Star for the development team, aligning everyone on the product's purpose and direction.

It's basically your innovation, the value you offer, and what you want every user to experience. With around 30,000 new products launching each year and 95% failing, having a clear product vision is crucial. It helps you by:

  • Guiding strategic decisions
  • Aligning teams and stakeholders
  • Enhancing productivity and engagement
  • Ensuring user-centricity and customer happiness

So, who’s responsible for the product vision?

The job of creating a product vision usually belongs to the founders, execs, or the product management team. By including team members from different parts of the company, you get a full view that matches what the company stands for and what customers want.


Why is product vision important?

Guides decision making

A clear product vision simplifies big decisions by guiding feature prioritization and resource allocation, keeping the team focused on critical goals. For instance, Google’s vision to make the world’s information accessible with one click has led to innovative solutions that align with this goal.

Alignment and productivity

A clear product vision helps teams work better and increases productivity. Companies with a strong vision experience improved teamwork because everyone knows the goal and is happy with their work. Research from Oxford University’s Saïd Business School shows a 13% boost in productivity when employees are happy. This leads to better teamwork and makes product success easier.

Making users happier

Every successful product is user-centric. Products built with this focus are more likely to meet and exceed customers' expectations. 

This approach ensures the product works well and connects with users personally, leading to a better customer experience. Happy customers stay loyal and can help spread the word about the product.

At Featurebase, we believe in making products with a clear vision focused on users. That’s why we built a suite of tools to help you gather feedback from your users directly through your own app. This will help you boost customer retention, which is the key to your success.


How to craft a compelling product vision

1. Align internally

You’re not going to be able to create a product vision if not everyone is on the same page.

Make sure the vision is clear to everyone on the team. Discuss its importance in a team meeting. Explain how each member's role helps achieve this vision. Encourage questions and employee feedback to keep everyone aligned and motivated.

2. Identify the core problem or need

What problem does your product solve? Knowing this is the base of a strong vision.

Get feedback from your potential users. Learn about their daily challenges and frustrations. Use their words to define the problem your product solves. This ensures your solution meets their needs and adds value.

3. Define the long-term goal

Where do you see your product in 3-5 years? Your goal should be ambitious but realistic. Look at market trends, growth areas, and technological changes that could affect your product.

Use the SMART criteria for your goal. Make it Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This will help you stay focused and motivated.

The SMART goal framework inforgraphic.

Examples of SMART long-term goals:

  • Increase our user base by 50% in the next three years.
  • Become the market leader in our industry within five years.

4. Articulate the unique value proposition

What sets your product apart? This will attract users to your product over others.

Write down how your product solves the problem. Think about the pain points your audience faces. Show how your solution addresses these issues. Focus on benefits, not features. Highlight the improvements and positive outcomes your product delivers to make it compelling.

Example: Slack

Slack's value proposition, "Your Digital HQ," shows its role as an all-in-one platform for team communication and collaboration. This clear message appeals to businesses that want to combine their communication tools into one platform.

By positioning itself as the central hub for workplace collaboration, Slack meets a need for efficiency in today's digital work environment. It allows teams to communicate in real time, share files, integrate third-party tools, and manage projects within one platform.

This integration reduces the need for multiple tools, simplifying workflows and boosting productivity. Slack’s approach is appealing to organizations wanting to improve coordination and foster a cohesive work culture. It is an essential tool for modern businesses.

Collect feature requests through Slack →

5. Craft a clear and concise vision statement

This is a snapshot of your product's future. Make it memorable. Keep it short. Aim for a sentence or two that anyone can understand and remember.

Zendesk's "Championing customer service," for example, clearly shows its commitment to improving customer service. It captures the company's dedication to providing tools that enhance customer service, making it clear and memorable.

Collect feature requests through Zendesk → 

6. Involve Stakeholders

Your vision needs to match the expectations of those who care about your product's success. Understanding their views and needs is important.

Hold a workshop with stakeholders to talk openly and get feedback. Use their ideas to improve your vision. Make sure your vision meets all concerns and chances for improvement. This teamwork helps create a product that meets everyone's expectations.

7. Validate and refine the vision

Ensure your vision resonates with your audience and is achievable. Have a clear and compelling vision that inspires and guides your team and stakeholders. Collect feedback from your audience to align your vision with their expectations.

Share your vision statement with a small group from your target audience. Use their feedback to make adjustments. 

Wondering how to do it? There’s an app for that. And we designed it.

Featurebase lets you listen to users when defining and refining your product vision. It lets you gather useful feedback and helps you turn it into an actionable roadmap.

Featurebase's public feedback portal.
Public feedback portal.

Here are a few features of Featurebase that can help you validate and refine your vision:

  • Voting boards: Users can vote on features to show what they want most.
  • Comments & replies: Users can discuss and give detailed feedback.
  • Sort by upvoter revenue: Features can be sorted based on potential revenue from upvoters
Illustration of sorting feedback by uvpoter revenue contribution in Featurebase.
Sorting feature requests by upvoters' revenue contribution.

Best practices in crafting a compelling product vision 

1. Visualize and communicate

They often say a picture is worth a thousand words, a principle that holds true when conveying your vision statement. Transform your abstract ideas into a tangible, visual tool that communicates your message instantly.

Visualization should encapsulate the core values, key features, and the essence of what sets you apart. It should also clearly illustrate who your target audience is, addressing their needs, and how your offering is uniquely positioned to meet those needs compared to the competition.

Here's an example of a product vision template by Canva:

Source

By creating a product vision board, you can assess your product at a glance, making complex concepts easily understood and remembered.

2. Keep a detailed roadmap 

Your vision is your big goal. A roadmap is a detailed plan that helps you reach that goal. With Featurebase, you can create and share your public roadmap with users, letting them see what's coming up. This helps manage expectations and see that you’re constantly improving.

A roadmap made with Featurebase.

Featurebase also lets you connect with tools like Intercom, Linear, Jira, and ClickUp, so your public roadmap is synced to your workflow and updates automatically. Users can also vote on ideas, give feedback, and receive new product releases. This way, everyone stays in the loop and can help out.

Featurebase's automated product update email to users.
Featurebase's automated product update email to users.

3. Continual alignment

It's important to keep checking your vision statement to make sure it matches your business goals. You might need to change it as your company grows and as the market changes. Also, watch the market trends and what customers want closely. This helps you stay ahead of others and make smart changes to your products.

Zoom, for example, has adjusted its product vision to meet users' changing needs, especially during COVID-19. Initially focused on business, Zoom added features for remote education, virtual events, and personal use. By collecting user feedback and monitoring usage, Zoom made key updates like better security and new interactive tools. These changes have helped Zoom stay a top video conferencing solution, meeting the needs of different users and keeping them satisfied.

In this market, being flexible and ready to adjust your product plans based on feedback and new ideas is key for product-led growth and for staying relevant a This flexible attitude can give you a major edge. 


Conclusion

It sounds cliche, but your product vision is only the beginning. The real work and rewards come when you bring that vision to life.

Use tools like Featurebase to align your product vision with what your users want. Collect feedback, prioritize feature requests, and communicate releases to your users. This gives your product and team a great chance to do well in the competitive SaaS market.

Start collecting feedback & building roadmaps with Featurebase for free →

Featurebase's feedback portal with voting boards and roadmaps.
Featurebase's feedback portal