How Can You Create A Product Vision? Easy 8 Steps

9 min read

Creating a great product vision is crucial in building a successful business. But what is it, and how do you make one? 

Our article will show you how. In just 8 simple steps, we’ll help you understand a product vision and how to create one that will inspire your team and attract customers. This guide is perfect for anyone, whether starting your first business or looking to improve an existing one. 

Let’s get started on creating a product vision that can take your product to the next level!

What is a product vision (statement)?

A product vision, or a product vision statement, is like a map of where you want your product to go. It’s a short, clear idea showing what you want your product to become and why it’s important. 

Consider it answering big questions like: What problem will the product solve? Who will use it? And how will it make things better for them?

It’s different from a business plan, which is more about the steps to make the product. The product vision document is all about the big goal at the end. It helps everyone working on the product stay focused and achieve the same dream. It’s not just about what the product does but the difference it will make for people and the market.

Now that we understand a product vision statement, let’s explore when it becomes essential in your product’s journey.

When do you need a product vision?

A product vision is essential from the very beginning of a product life cycle. It’s needed when you have an idea for a new product or when you plan to make significant changes to an existing product. Here’s why and when a product vision becomes crucial:

  • At the start of product development: Before you start designing or building your product, a vision helps set the direction. It gives you and your team a clear idea of what you’re aiming to achieve.
  • When setting goals and making decisions: Throughout the development process, you’ll make many decisions, from design to features to marketing. A vision acts as a guide, helping you make choices that align with your ultimate goal.
  • During team alignment and motivation: Keeping your team motivated and aligned is easier when everyone understands and believes in the product vision. It helps ensure that all efforts are focused on achieving the same objective.
  • While pitching to investors or stakeholders: When explaining your product to investors or stakeholders, a compelling vision can make a powerful impression. It shows that you have a clear and ambitious plan for the future.
  • In response to market changes: Markets can change rapidly. A vision can help you adapt by reminding you of the core purpose of your product, even when you need to pivot or make adjustments. Consider a product vision workshop as a tool to redefine the vision.
  • For long-term growth and success: A vision isn’t just for the short term. It’s essential for guiding the long-term growth and evolution of your product (as a part of an innovation roadmap), ensuring it stays relevant and continues to meet user needs.

Having established when a product vision is needed, let’s now look at who is responsible for defining it.

Who is defining the product vision?

Creating a product vision is a collaborative process involving key players within an organization. While the responsibility may vary depending on the company’s size and structure (consider using RACI to clarify it), here are the primary individuals and teams typically involved in defining a product vision:

  • The product manager: Often, the product manager takes the lead in crafting the vision. They are responsible for understanding the market, the customers, and the business goals, translating these insights into a compelling vision for the product.
  • Company executives and leadership: In many companies, especially startups, the CEO or other top executives are crucial in defining the vision. Their insights, based on overall business strategy and market understanding, are vital for setting the direction of the product.
  • The product team: This includes designers, developers, and marketers who will be working on the product. Their input is important because they have detailed knowledge about what is feasible and what can appeal to the target audience.
  • Stakeholders: This group can include investors, board members, and key customers. They may not be directly involved in writing the product vision, but their feedback can influence its direction.
  • Customers and users: Understanding the needs and desires of your customers is crucial for a vision. While they don’t write the vision, customer feedback, and market research inform the vision and ensure it aligns with user needs.

It’s important to note that defining a product vision should be inclusive and consider multiple perspectives. A successful vision resonates with all key stakeholders – from the team building the product to the end users. Collaboration, communication, and a deep understanding of the market and customer needs are essential in crafting a vision that guides the product toward success.

Now that we know who shapes the product vision, let’s dive into the four key principles that make it great.

What are the 4 principles of a great product vision statement?

A powerful product vision statement is more than just a catchy phrase; it’s a beacon guiding every aspect of product development. Here are the four key principles of it:

  • Clear and concise: A great product vision statement should be easily understandable. It needs to be straightforward, avoiding technical jargon or complex language. The goal is to make it memorable and easy for everyone, from team members to stakeholders, to grasp quickly.
  • Inspiring and aspirational: Your vision should inspire and motivate everyone who works on or interacts with the product. It should paint a picture of a future everyone wants to strive towards. The best visions are aspirational, challenging the team to push boundaries and aim high.
  • Purpose-driven: A strong vision goes beyond the functional aspects of what the product does. It should articulate the purpose of the product – the ‘why’ behind it. This includes the impact you want the product to have on customers’ lives and the value it adds.
  • Future-focused and flexible: While being specific about the product’s goals, a good vision statement should also leave room for growth and adaptation. It should be forward-looking, considering how the product will evolve and stay relevant as market conditions and customer needs change.

With an understanding of what a product vision statement is, let’s explore why it’s so crucial for success.

Why is product vision important?

Understanding the importance of a product vision is key to realizing its benefits in the product development process. Here’s why a clear and compelling vision is essential:

  • Guides decision-making: A vision serves as a north star, guiding generating ideas and strategic decisions throughout the product’s lifecycle. It ensures that every feature, update, and strategy aligns with the ultimate goal of the product.
  • Drives alignment and cohesion: A shared product vision unites the team, stakeholders, and customers by providing a common understanding of the product’s aims. This alignment is crucial for cohesive and efficient teamwork.
  • Fuels motivation and commitment: A compelling vision can be a powerful motivator for your team. It gives everyone a sense of purpose and encourages them to invest their best efforts into the product’s success.
  • Helps prioritize features and improvements: With a clear vision, it’s easier to prioritize which features and improvements are most important. This helps manage ideas and focus resources on what truly matters for the product’s success.
  • Attracts and retains customers: Customers are more likely to engage with a product that has a clear, relatable vision. It helps build a loyal customer base that connects with the product’s purpose and values.
  • Enables flexibility and adaptability: A well-defined vision provides a framework within which the product can adapt to changes in the market or technology. It allows for innovation while staying true to the core objectives of the product.
  • Supports long-term success: A product vision isn’t just about the immediate launch or next update; it’s about the long-term journey of the product. It provides a roadmap for growth and evolution, ensuring the product remains relevant and successful over time.

Now that we’ve seen the importance of product vision, let’s distinguish it from company vision.

What is the difference between product vs. company vision?

Understanding the distinction between a product and a company vision is crucial as they serve different, yet complementary, roles in a business’s strategy. Here’s how they differ:

AspectProduct VisionCompany Vision
ScopeSpecific to a single product or product line.Encompasses the entire organization and its operations.
FocusCenters on the product’s goals, functionality, and user impact.Focuses on the company’s overall aspirations and long-term goals.
PurposeGuides product development and strategies.Sets the direction for the company’s growth and overall strategy.
Time frameOften shorter, it can change with market and technology trends.Usually longer-term, it provides enduring guidance and stability.
InfluenceShaped by customer needs, market trends, and technological advancements.Influenced by internal factors like values, culture, and broader market dynamics.
Strategic alignmentShould align with and support the company vision.Provides a framework for individual product visions and business strategies.
ImpactDirectly impacts the development and success of the product.Influences the company’s culture, identity, and overall success.

Having differentiated between product and company vision, let’s examine how product vision contrasts with product strategy.

What is the difference between product vision vs. strategy?

Understanding the difference between product vision and product strategy is crucial for effective product management. While these two concepts are closely related and interdependent, they serve distinct functions:

AspectProduct VisionProduct Strategy
PurposeDescribes the ultimate goal and impact of the product. Answers the “why” behind the product.Details the “how” of reaching the vision. Includes target market, value proposition, and key features.
Time frameTypically long-term and remains consistent over time.More dynamic and can change based on market conditions and feedback.
FocusBroad and inspirational, focusing on the desired future state of the product.Tactical and detailed, focusing on actionable steps and milestones.
Role in developmentSets the direction and motivation for product development.Acts as a roadmap, guiding the product team on what to do to move towards the vision.
ComponentsSingular and unchanging, encapsulating the essence of the product’s aspirations.Includes elements such as market analysis, positioning, and go-to-market strategies.

Understanding the significance of a product vision, let’s now explore the steps involved in creating one.

How to create a product vision in 8 easy steps?

Creating a product vision is a strategic process involving understanding your market, customers, and business goals. Here is how to write a vision:

  1. Understand your market and customers: Research your target market and customer base. Identify the needs, pain points, and desires of your potential users. Keep an eye on market trends and competitor offerings. 
  2. Define the core problem your product solves: Clearly articulate the primary problem or need your product addresses. Ensure this problem is significant and relevant to your target audience.
  3. Envision the future state: Imagine the ideal scenario that your product will create. Think about how your product will change the lives of its users or the industry.
  4. Align with business goals: Ensure that your vision aligns with your company’s broader goals and vision. Consider how the product contributes to the overall success of the business.
  5. Draft the vision statement: Start writing your product vision statement draft. Keep it concise, clear, and inspiring. Make sure it reflects the future impact and the essence of your product.
  6. Gather feedback: Share the draft with team members, stakeholders, and potential customers. Collect feedback and be open to revisions.
  7. Refine and finalize: Refine the vision statement based on the feedback. Ensure it resonates with all key stakeholders and accurately represents your product’s goals.
  8. Communicate and embed the vision: Share the final vision with your team and stakeholders. Ensure that it is understood and embraced across your organization. Use it as a guide in all product-related decisions and strategies.

After outlining the steps of the framework, let’s consider whether there are templates and examples of product vision to help streamline this process.

Is there any product vision template?

Yes, there are templates available to help craft a vision. These templates provide a structured approach, making it easier to articulate the vision effectively. Here are some commonly used templates with product vision examples:

What is the “Future Headline” template?

This template frames the product vision as a future headline, capturing the essence of what the product aims to achieve in a specific time frame. It’s great for creating a bold, aspirational vision that projects success and impact.

  • Template: “In [time frame], [product name] will be [description of achievement or state].”
  • Example: “In five years, PPM Express  will be the leading platform for effective work and innovation management, helping thousands of project and product managers increase their productivity.”

Moving from the “Future Headline” approach, let’s explore the “For-Who, That, Which” template for a different perspective on vision crafting.

What is the “For-Who, That, Which” product vision template?

It is an Ideal framework for emphasizing the target audience, unique selling points, and competitive positioning. This template outlines who the product is for, its primary benefits, and how it differs from existing solutions. It’s handy for products in competitive markets.

  • Template: “For [target customer] who [statement of need or opportunity], [product name] is a [product category] that [statement of key benefit]. Unlike [primary competitive alternative], our product [statement of primary differentiation].”
  • Example: For product managers seeking efficient and innovative project oversight, PPM Express is an innovation management platform that offers streamlined gathering feedback and converting it into ideas, as well as projects, project planning, and progress tracking. Unlike traditional project management tools, our platform provides integrated strategic planning and portfolio management, ensuring a holistic view of all projects and initiatives.

After examining the “For-Who, That, Which” template, let’s focus on the “Vision Box” template for a more visual approach.

What is the “Vision Box” template?

This template encourages you to think like you’re designing a product’s packaging, focusing on key selling points and visual appeal. It’s perfect for creating a tangible and marketable vision of the product.

  • Template: Create a ‘product box’ that you might see on a retail shelf. Include the product name, a tagline, three to five key benefits, and an illustrative image.
  • Example: A box design for PPM Express might include the platform name and a tagline like “Innovate, Plan, Achieve,” highlighting benefits such as strategic project planning, real-time progress tracking, and comprehensive portfolio management, complemented by a sleek and professional image.

Having explored the “Vision Box” template, let’s now turn to the “Value Proposition Canvas” for a customer-centric perspective.

What is the “Value Proposition Canvas”?

This template is centered around understanding and aligning with customer needs and desires. It’s particularly effective for ensuring that your product vision closely aligns with what your customers genuinely want and need.

  • Template: This template focuses on customer profiles and value propositions. It helps identify and connect customer needs with what the product offers.
  • Example: For a project management software like PPM Express, you would outline customer jobs (like managing teams), pains (like tracking progress), and gains (like increased productivity) and then map out how your product addresses these.

These examples and templates are starting points to inspire your product vision statement. They help structure your thoughts and ensure that important elements of your vision are not overlooked. However, it’s important to customize your vision statement to fit your unique product and business context, and tools like PPM Express can be invaluable in this process. 

PPM Express, an innovation management platoform, helps bring clarity and focus to your product development efforts. Features like strategic planning, portfolio management, and progress tracking empower teams to align their daily activities with the overarching product vision. 

If you want to bring your product vision to life efficiently and precisely, consider trying PPM Express.

How Can You Create A Product Vision? Easy 8 Steps
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