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It is important to ensure you have a product that your customers want, as explained in previous modules, before you even come up with a go-to-market strategy, as it does not make sense to take something to market that nobody wants. Unfortunately, as an article in the next section of this module shows, this is the number one reason why start-ups fail. As building a product that people need was covered already in earlier courses, this part will focus on making sure that the product and value proposition fit with the rest of your go-to-market strategy.


There is often a big void between marketing and product teams in companies, but in our world today the multiple types of channels are so interrelated with the product that these two cannot be look at separately. We will now look at how the go-to-market strategy can influence the design of a product.


1. The impact of market and customer change on products As you target new markets and customers, you need to make sure to adjust to the new requirements and needs of them. You will have to make sure that the pricing, configuration, packaging and support is in line with your new customers.
2. The impact of channel change on products If you intend to add new channels to reach your customers, you should consider that if you are mainly selling complex products, a low-cost channel might not be right unless your product gets adjusted to fit the new channel. Another way to avoid that problem is to redesign your product that fits the new channel you want to explore.


You will need to make sure your products are channel ready, which can be done through:

  • Product standardization & product line reduction
  • Feature simplification
  • Pricing simplification / reduction
  • Bundled training and procedures
  • Standardisation of terms and conditions
  • Streamlining of financial terms
  • Support channel
3. Rethinking the value proposition Just having a great product is not enough, you should also have a great value proposition. Your value proposition should be simple, believable, clearly formulated, appealing to customers and be easily promotable through various media channels. Avoid fuzzy messages that are full of buzzwords and customer cannot understand.

Make sure to test your value proposition with your customers and get their feedback, which will help you to refine it and select a proposition that is the best fit.



For examples of the different sections and further detail and information please have a look at:



Additional Resources:

Harvard i-lab | Startup Secrets: Go to Market Strategies (Harvard Innovation Lab, 2013)



Click the View the Lesson Quiz button below and successfully complete the quiz to advance to the next lesson...




Friedman, L.G., (2002). Go-to-market strategy: advanced techniques and tools for selling more products, to more customers, more profitably. Routledge.

Harvard Innovation Lab (2013). Harvard i-lab | Startup Secrets: Go to Market Strategies. Available at: [Accessed 30 January 2018]


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