Back to Insights
Paul Hamshere

Winning in a Product-Led World

Making long-term sustainability a reality for traditional organisations by leveraging a product-led philosophy.

Winning in a Product-Led World


The success of digitally native companies (e.g. Zoom and Netflix) has demonstrated that innovative products alone can attract and retain customers without the need for large sales or marketing budgets. These new disruptive products are playing by different rules, which requires traditional organisations to develop new product strategy models to achieve long-term sustainability.

To address this challenge, this article will cover the following topics:

  • Why are customer expectations and economic conditions causing an urgency to act?
  • Our solution and perspective on the world of innovation through 7 lenses.
  • Achieving innovation and enabling a new product strategy model by introducing 20 success factors.
  • The positive outcomes that can be achieved by implementing this new model.

How have customer and market expectations created urgency for change?

Over the past two decades, customer expectations have undergone a significant transformation, and they now demand much more value for less. This shift has been driven by new and flexible pricing options, "try before you buy", and an expectation of continuous improvements and value throughout the customer lifecycle.

In addition to these evolving expectations, the current economic environment has further complicated the situation. Discretionary spending is decreasing, and investment appetite is lower. As a result, it is becoming increasingly critical to identify alternative, innovative, and cost-effective ways to deliver greater value to customers. If you fail to do so, it will lead to customers leaving and choosing to do business with your competitors instead.

IE’s view of the product-led world – 7 lenses of innovation

Whether we realise it or not, we’re part of this new world where digital and mobile experiences play a crucial role in delivering seamless end-to-end customer experiences, across the physical and digital worlds.

IE has worked with numerous top ASX organisations for over 20 years to implement global best practices. In doing so, we have identified seven lenses of innovation inspired by the wisdom of product-led philosophy. These lenses provide a unique perspective on the world and help us understand the challenges and opportunities in the current business environment.

IE’s 20 success factors to enable a new product strategy model

We have identified 20 success factors supporting our lenses of innovation that can help organisations develop a new product strategy model and succeed in a product-led world. However, success is not a one-size-fits-all formula, and each company and industry will require subtly different actions to succeed.

As organisations adopt these success factors, the key question to ask is where are you currently on the maturity scale. The next step is to identify which success factors hold the most value for both your customers and your business by increasing the maturity level.

What is the reward from this approach?

Organisations that focus on increasing their maturity across the 20 success factors, ultimately achieve four key outcomes:

  1. Increased value perception: By balancing the delivery of paid and free value throughout the lifetime of the customer, this drives brand loyalty and viral awareness.
  2. Lower cost base: By using your product features to directly drive acquisition and retention, and adopting new low cost technologies, you can ensure lower development cost, acquisition cost and cost to serve.
  3. Sales and marketing productivity uplift: By driving collaboration across the business and freeing up your marketing teams, this delivers more focused communication with greater impact, while sales teams can concentrate on high-value, complex customers.
  4. Strategy by action: Embedding an executive-sponsored test and learn culture to pivot, perish, and persevere will deliver speed to value and a higher proportion meeting or exceeding their business cases. This approach emphasises less talking and more action.

Key takeaways

To compete with digital natives, drive sustainable growth, and thrive in a rapidly changing environment, traditional organisations must continue to innovate and adopt new best practices. Throughout history, those who have found ways to navigate through difficult times have often surpassed their competition. By aligning everyone to the 7 lenses of innovation and utilising IE’s 20 success factors for developing a new product strategy model, organisations can ensure long-term sustainability.

Further readings on IE's 20 Success Factors

  1. 'Immediate Value' - read here
  2. 'Systems Approach' - read here
  3. 'Test & Learn Culture' - read here
  4. 'Empowerment' - read here
  5. 'Ongoing Value' - read here
  6. 'Lean Technology' - read here
  7. 'Growth Marketing' - read here
  8. 'Low Friction' - coming soon
  9. 'Seamless Onboarding Experience' - coming soon
  10. 'Tailored Experience' - coming soon
  11. 'Omnichannel Experience' - coming soon
  12. 'Cross Functional' - coming soon
  13. 'Data Driven' - coming soon
  14. 'Cloud & API' - coming soon
  15. 'Seamless Support' - coming soon
  16. 'Channel Collaboration' - coming soon
  17. 'Flexible Funding' - coming soon
  18. 'Data Capture' - coming soon
  19. 'Continuous Delivery' - coming soon
  20. 'Insights Driven' - coming soon

I will be releasing one article preiodically explaining a success factor in further detail. Stay tuned for more insights and discussion on this ever-evolving topic. Get in touch.

Looking to solve big problems? Let’s talk.

Partner With Us

Stay in the loop

Get occasional newsletters about IE’s insights. We won’t spam your inbox.
Thank you! You've now been subscribed.
Something went wrong while submitting the form.
IE recognises the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we work, and we acknowledge those communities' continuing connections to their lands, waters, and cultures. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present.