What is Product Led Transformation & Why is Now the Right Time?

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Years ago when I first encountered the phrase “Product Led Transformation” I was confused.  Why would anyone want their business to be “product led”?

Surely, building a product and expecting people to buy it, without understanding whether there was even a need for this product or even if it was a problem people had in the first place is problematic.  Is it even a problem worth solving?

Surely, we shouldn’t be “Product-Led” but rather “Customer-Led”.

Customer Led

Except that organisations often took that term to mean asking customers what they wanted and building to their exact specifications.  Kind of like designing a faster horse.  So is that “Sales-Led” or “Project-Led”?

Either way, it’s not repeatable.

And we know scale comes from being repeatable.

Better still, onboarding product experiences that are low touch, that is don’t require a white glove approach to sales and set up, is the kind of sustainable (think profitable) growth organisations need, right?

So when we talk about “Product Led” we’re really talking about how an organisation can create products that are profitable, with low touch onboarding and solve a real customer problem.

Because, let’s face it, customers won’t buy what you’re selling if it doesn’t solve a really painful problem for them.

What is Product Led Transformation?


So let’s start there….

Product Led Transformation is about how to create systems that support organisational growth and profitability, starting with the customer.

And there is only one role within an organisation whose job is to understand customer problems and design solutions that solve those problems in a profitable and sustainable way.

Product Managers are in high demand because rather than asking customers what they want and building exactly that (think Sales or Project Led), they learn about the end to end customer experience, psychology and motivation behind their behaviour and challenge the delivery team to design a solution that solves the customer’s problems.  Not by building what competitors have and rendering their organisation irrelevant, but by creating solutions that solve customer pain better than anyone else and creating strategic differentiation that sets you apart from competitors.

Recently a lot of organisations have wanted to transform their operations to be more “Product-Led” and have been reaching out for help.

But what is “Product-Led” and why would you even want Product Led Transformation?

What is Product Led Transformation?

Unlike other Transformations, Product Led Transformations starts with the Customer.

Rather than being an output focussed transformation, Product Led Transformation aligns the organisation to the outcome of continuous customer discovery that is used to design a product experience that drives customer acquisition, conversion, retention and expansion.

That is the continuous discovery of customer problems and pains to understand the value of solving those problems and designing a solution, or product around solving those problems better than anyone else.

This is a continuous process as the customer’s needs, pains and problems change with time, during the customer journey and at different life stages.  This is both true for business to business organisations and business to consumer organisations.

Moreover, Product Led Transformation is about creating real customer value, empowering the whole organisation to think about customer problems and creating an engine of value creation for the end user.

Why Is Now The Right Time To Start Your Product Led Transformation?

One word – Growth!

While Product Led growth was born out of the success of SaaS products, a growing number of customers are  seeking out self-service product experiences themselves, making it even more important than ever for organisations to shift to a Product Led Transformation.

The data shows:

The expectation of a personalised digital experience that knows the customer and serves relevant information, products and experiences is one that is only growing and cannot be delivered through the old ways of working.

So if you’re looking to grow your business with the largest growing populations, it’s critical to listen and create an experience that meets and exceeds their expectations and a Product Led Transformation allows you to do that.

Need help with your own Product Led Transformation?

Get the support you need from experts with 10+ years experience in Product Management and Product Led Success.  Hire a Product Rocket Product Consultant or Upskill Your Product Team with Tailored Product Training.

Irene Liakos

Irene Liakos

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