In past posts I have focused on implementing GTM standards for product release management. I have made the case that the LBGUPS (Learn, Buy, Get, Use, Pay Service) model can be applied to all products and all industries. The standards afford companies the ability to manage their releases on time and under budget more efficiently. It is important for companies and teams to note that while applying these standards, they should guard against losing their product differentiation messages and market positioning.

No one comments on corporate culture and the workplace dynamic better than Scott Adams’ Dilbert. Check out this apropos strip. http://bit.ly/4y8AEB. Even though standards often create comfortably and conformity, a case can be made for individuality in product development and the GTM process to avoid mediocrity and parity. Whether your products and services are sold via direct sales reps, channels, verticals etc. the efficacy of the sale is based on intrinsic product value. The product value might be price based, customer service based,  or offer increased value and /or productivity. It can also be any combination of all of these. Either way every product has “reasons to believe” that should tie back inherently to the brand value and proposition. (Check my past post dated 8/10/10  for info on marketing and brand cohesion). These “brand proof points” tell the story of how your new product/service fits into the overall portfolio and benefits the customer. Customers purchase based on brand or product individuality with integrated reasons to believe. The challenge of a product development, release management and marketing team is to display how their product is different from what is in the market today while staying true to the brand framework and offer.

These key product values need to be identified and translated early in the strategy and product development cycle to avoid customer confusion on offer vs. value. By inserting a review of brand credo and value proposition early in the strategy and development cycle, requirements teams, product development and marketing can avoid scope creep and execute a streamlined development  and deployment process. The resulting product or service will not violate any brand or “big rules” and strengthen the customer’s “reasons to believe” in the brand or offer proposition. Now the easy part….sell!

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