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What is Product Vision?


Product managers are constantly faced with the difficult task of steering a project toward success. This is where the concept of product vision comes into play, serving as the guiding star for every phase of the product lifecycle. By understanding the role and impact of a strong product vision, teams can stay singular in executing a full product lifecycle. But what is Product Vision, and what goes into creating one that sets your product up for success? With that in mind, we created this guide to help individuals, teams, and companies answer that question.

What Is Product Vision?

A Product Vision (also referred to as a product vision statement) is most simply known as describing the essence of your product. Used correctly, a Product Vision can do a lot more. We’ve all heard of the corporate vision, so what makes the product vision so important? Quite simply without one, your team has a much harder time keeping on track.

Here are aspects of a product vision to keep in mind as you are writing one.

Product Vision Example

To better understand what a product vision statement is, it helps to see one in action. Here’s an example of a product vision statement for Microsoft Surface:

  • For the business user who needs to be productive in the office and on the go, the Surface is a convertible tablet that is easy to carry and gives you full computing productivity no matter where you are.
  • Unlike laptops, Surface serves your on-the-go needs without having to carry an extra device.

The format below can serve as a Product Vision Template:

  • For (target customer) who (statement of need or opportunity), the (product name) is a (product category) that (key benefit, reason to buy).
  • Unlike (primary competitive alternative), our product (statement of primary differentiation).
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What Makes A Good Product Vision?


Product visions give your teams a bigger picture of what they are working on and why. A product vision gives your team the reason why they should be working on this product at this time and for whom. It answers the questions: Why come in early? Why stay late and work weekends? Why sweat the small details that create great products? Because you are all aspiring to achieve a well-crafted product that will change your customers’ lives in some way. With a well-crafted Product Vision Statement, your team will take pride in contributing to its development and, ultimately, its success.

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Unless you are Superman or Superwoman, you can’t be with your team at every moment to guide each and every decision. As a product vision is internalized by the team, each person won’t spit out a word-for-word synopsis of your product vision, but they will create their own version of it. In those moments when they must make a quick decision, a product vision will keep them from going “off the rails” and creating something that violates the product vision.


While product visions contain lofty goals, there should also be a component or underlying message that the vision can be made real. The product vision is actionable. With a clearly set product vision, your team will take part in that vision in both development and execution. Each phase of product development should feel both attainable and necessary for the subsequent phases, all through to completion.

Linked to Corporate Goals

At the start, we mention that product vision is similar to corporate vision but on a smaller scale and at the product level. If you want your product to be successful in the outside market, you want your company to support your work as well. If your product vision has a coherent line of sight in supporting company goals, it’s easier to sell your product up the chain.

[Infographic] What Makes a Good Product Vision from Productside (formerly 280Group)
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When Would You Use a Product Vision?

Product visions are useful when starting work on a new product or aligning a team around updates to an existing product. Whether you are kicking off the first version or making tweaks to the nth version of your product, you should start by creating a product vision statement. There’s a balance here. You want an overall product vision, but you may also want interim chapters as work progresses over the life of your product.

Communicating Your Product Vision

The goal is for each team member to internalize the vision and be able to state their version of it. Getting to that point takes a lot of repetition. A lot of repetition. A lot of repetition. State it at the beginning of review meetings. Write it at the top or bottom of your emails. Create a poster and put it on the wall. If it’s important enough for your team to work on, it’s important enough to celebrate the product vision that you share.

Product Vision Statement

The traditional format of a product vision statement uses the same format as the positioning statement. Why? Because the positioning statement focuses on the customer and the benefits that the product brings to them.

The format is as follows:

  • For (target customer) who (statement of need or opportunity), the (product name) is a (product category) that (key benefit, reason to buy).
  • Unlike (primary competitive alternative), our product (statement of primary differentiation).*

Here’s an example of a product vision statement for Microsoft Surface:

  • For the business user who needs to be productive in the office and on the go, the Surface is a convertible tablet that is easy to carry and gives you full computing productivity no matter where you are.
  • Unlike laptopsSurface serves your on-the-go needs without having to carry an extra device.

Good luck with your first product vision statement, whether using this format or another one! Like many things in life, iterate until your product vision resonates within you, your team, and your company.