what is a product-led organisation

What is a Product-Led Organisation?


What are Product-Led Organisations? And what makes them some of our favourite brands? Well, a product-led organisation focuses on the product to drive growth. The product leads the company strategy, while other teams support the product. Done well, this leads to products that we love!

Product Drives Strategy

In a product-led company, the product team sets direction. Product managers decide the roadmap. They choose future features.

Customer insights inform development. User research and feedback guide the product. Data analytics identifies opportunities. The company structure centres around the product team. Other roles serve product outcomes.

Our approach uses the Enterprise Change Pattern to enable an organisation to become more customer-focused and product led. The Enterprise Change Pattern harnesses the power of experiments to explore new ideas, identify opportunities, and uncover areas for improvement.

An Obsession with the User Experience

Understanding users is an obsession. The company watches how people use the product. In turn, this feedback informs iterations. Organisations experiment. They discover what works (and do more of that) and what doesn’t (and do less of that).

Product decisions start with the user in mind. User experience is the top priority. When people love a product, they will not only use it, but will recommend it to others.

Success metrics focus on usage and engagement. Streamlining adoption matters most.

Agile and Adaptable

A product-led company can pivot quickly. New user data means rapid changes. There is flexibility to adapt.

The priority is delivering value to users. If that means changing course, the company can respond.

This agility comes from the product team’s mandate. With empowered product leaders, the organisation moves fast.

Selling Through the Product

In a product-led company, the product sells itself. Users can access and test it directly.

This allows for free trials and freemium models. The product demonstrates its own value.

Sales and marketing support adoption. However, the product is the main channel to customers.

Long sales cycles are eliminated and users choose products on their own terms.

Why Product-Led?

Here are 5 Benefits for the Business of being Product-Led

  • Focus – The entire company aligns around the product and users.
  • Growth – Products that deliver value can scale quickly through word of mouth.
  • Customer-Centric – Users feel heard. Products meet their needs and are loved.
  • Agility – Fast pivots based on user feedback. Constant evolution.
  • Efficient – Less need for heavy sales and marketing spend to drive growth.

Examples of Product-Led Companies

  • Slack – Chat app which led growth through viral user adoption and easy integration with other products.
  • Zoom – Video call software that sold itself to remote workers. Zoom was one of the fastest-growing apps of the pandemic when meeting participants increased by 2900%!
  • Canva – Graphic design platform which grew rapidly based on user-friendly product experience.

When Product-Led Works Best

The product-led model shines for digital products and SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) companies. When the product can deliver value directly to users, it can become the growth engine.

It works for innovative products creating new categories. It also suits commoditised markets where competing on user experience matters.

Product-led may not work everywhere. Companies with complex sales cycles still need sales-led models. However, they can borrow from product-led principles.

Product-led puts the product at the heart of operations. When executed well, this creates fantastic user experiences. It also fuels growth through adoption.

Are you a leader in a product-led organisation? Struggling to move from strategy to execution?
Get in touch and let us help you.

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