Coup de Grâce
Coup de Grâce: an action or event that serves as the culmination of a bad or deteriorating situation.
"the epidemic has been the coup de grâce for the airlines"
Imagine you have just launched your new product, and all of the months of global travel meeting with customers, talking to integrators and dealers, and planning sales and marketing strategies have paid-off. The product is exceeding all expectations. You feel like a hero. Congratulations.
Now, plan its coup de grâce.
What? Seriously? It is–I am–kicking the competitors all over the place. I am taking market share. Margins are the highest this company has seen in a decade. Revenue is 20% over projections. Blah. Blah. Blah.
I am very serious. Give yourself a couple of weeks or a month to enjoy your teams’ victories and to relax your mind for the next round. Because your counterpart at your arch foe “ACME” is planning how he is going to take your spot in the market.
Now is the best time for you to start planning the replacement for product. Plan its Coup de Grâce instead of reacting to it a year or so from now.
I can hear you asking, “but won’t the company think I am nuts for planning to kill this (my) great product?” Yes, they probably will think that and that is exactly why your company needs product STRATEGISTS and not just product managers. Your job is to create long-term, sustainable profit growth.
So, in response to the inevitable inquiries into your sanity, here are three reasons why now is the time to draft the death warrant for your golden product.
The competition is not resting. They are working hard, just like we did, to take our position, just like we took theirs.
We have just spent many months and thousands/millions of dollars to create this product. If we pause now, the momentum will be lost and, more importantly, the information we’ve learned will be useless. Information has a very short half-life in our (really any) industry.
A single success can invigorate a team. If your team can do it twice in a row, you start a juggernaut of positive energy within your firm, create a positive impression with your customers, and instill respect and fear in your competitors’ camps.
Strategies have a beginning, middle and end. For ongoing success, you must plan all three.
Call me if you want some ideas to dramatically improve your product strategy and product commercialization.
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