Top 10 Brainmates Blog Posts of 2009

Here at Brainmates we invested significantly in writing blog posts and in 2009 we expanded our focus to write more blogs on a range of topics relevant to product managers and marketers. We have provided “How to…” guides, reviewed business models, discussed hot topics and interviewed a range of individuals.

We’ve enjoyed starting conversations and hearing feedback, ideas, comments and suggestions from others in the product management community.

Some of our blog posts generated a lot of interest and discussion. Here we present our top ten posts of 2009. There may be some that you haven’t seen before, and there may be new perspectives to bring to the discussion too.

Enjoy!

Top 10 Brainmates blog posts of 2009

  1. The Customer Service Gap Model: An analysis of a business model that can be used to measure service quality and to identify where gaps may exist between customer expectations and what the product provides. Product managers can use the model to look at ways of closing any gaps. This blog post provided an example of how to use the model by looking at the online retailer Amazon.
  2. The importance of market research: Market research provides insight and understanding of customer requirements and product managers can use it to improve their products at any stage, from development to refinement. That said, the process can be daunting. This blog post describes the market research process with examples of different types of research.
  3. What is a “market-driven” product?: Market research on its own is not enough. Product managers must interpret, decipher and translate data into information that allows them to develop a market-driven product. This blog post provides perspectives on how to develop a product that is relevant and compelling to customers.
  4. Qualities of great product managers: In this blog post we looked at a report from Forrester Research that identified four qualities that make for a good product manager. We asked for your thoughts and opinions and received a large number of replies with different viewpoints and discussions.
  5. “How to… price a new product”: Our “How To…” guides proved popular in 2009 with this blog post explaining the steps involved in pricing a new product. This involves evaluating the market, setting pricing goals, determining pricing strategy and generating pricing tactics.
  6. 5 tips for writing a product requirements document: A Product Requirements Document provides complete requirements definition of a product, derived from market requirements. Outlining the features and functions of a product, this document is a useful tool for product managers. In this blog post we provide 5 simple tips to help in the drafting of the document.
  7. The use of a Product Innovation Charter in product development: Product Innovation Charters are increasingly being used by product managers. They can help in providing a strategic context for product development that product managers can use when developing and managing products.
  8. “How to… undertake a competitor analysis”: Another of our popular “How To…” guides gives step-by-step instructions for undertaking a competitor analysis. This process is beneficial as it allows product managers and marketers to understand the current market and see where areas of intense competition or relative calm lie.
  9. “How to… position a product”: Product Positioning is a critical step in the product marketing process. Done correctly, it makes the marketing process easier – messaging will be more relevant and compelling for the target markets. This blog post provides three simple steps based on the concepts of segmentation and targeting to develop product positioning statements.
  10. The Value Curve Model: visualising value propositions: The Value Curve model was introduced by academics W Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne in a Harvard Business Review article from January 1997. It provides a simple and effective way for product managers and marketers to compare products based on factors that are relevant for target customers. This blog post illustrated the model using the example of the ING Savings Maximiser account. It generated a lot of comments from people who had used the model as well as some comments on how it can be improved upon.