Product Strategy — Target & Meta Case Studies

Anya Cheng
CEO of Taelor
Automatic Summary

Mastering Product Strategy in Today's Digital Landscape

In the challenging and competitive world of business, knowing your product strategy is key. This not only helps businesses remain competitive and differentiated, but also ensures that customer needs and preferences are at the core of the product's blueprint. I am Anya Chan, Founder and CEO of Taylor, a men's wear rental subscription company, and I am thrilled to share insights on product strategy using real-life examples from global giants such as Target and Meta (formerly Facebook).

About Anya Chan

Anya Chan is an entrepreneur who has been making waves in Silicon Valley. Prior to the founding of Taylor, she led product teams at Facebook, eBay, and Target. Under her leadership, these companies have achieved remarkable success and reached new heights. She was recognized as a winner of the Girls in Tech 40 Under 40 Award – an acknowledgment of her groundbreaking strides in the tech industry.

The Art of Product Strategy

One of Chan's major accomplishments includes building Facebook Shopping and leading the eCommerce team at Target to build their tablets and product office in Silicon Valley. Now, she took a step back from the hustle of Silicon Valley to redirect her focus towards a startup that offers a novel service for men - Taylor.

Taylor is revolutionizing the men's fashion arena. It offers a menswear rental subscription service that combines the concepts of Rent the Runway and Stitch Fix. Customers pay a monthly fee to have clothing items, chosen by AI or human stylists, shipped to their homes. And if they fall in love with something, they have the option to purchase the item at a discounted price. In essence, with Taylor, shopping has never been easier, or better yet, as effortless.

Case Study: Target’s Product Strategy

Crafting a compelling product strategy calls for the unraveling of market gaps and the problems of the people your product is targeting. Chan walks us through a case study of Target's product strategy.

When she was the head of Target's Tablet eCommerce team, she had the task of driving eCommerce revenue up by 1 million per day before Thanksgiving. As such, she had to make key decisions about what products and features to launch.

Conducting thorough research, they discovered that their main product audience was higher-income mothers who mainly used tablets at home for casual browsing moments. Moreover, they identified Target’s ‘superpower’ as its ability to inspire shoppers to buy more items than they initially intended. Therefore, inspiration was the key value to drive towards their revenue goal.

Learning from Meta

In another example, Chan highlights the importance of understanding the actual users of your product compared to your target audience. When Meta (formerly Facebook) launched their Portal product, they initially aimed for young couples due to the unique feature which followed users around as they moved. However, the primary usage ended up being the AR/VR Story Time feature that targeted grandparents.

The Guide to an Effective Product Strategy

To make your product strategy seamless and efficient, it is crucial to follow a simple framework: Identify the problem you want to solve for people, recognize the gap in the market, and know your company’s superpower.

Additionally, a good strategy should be actionable and objective with outlined trade-offs. Product strategy should not depend heavily on numerous variables, but rather, it should be a straightforward solution. It is in its simplicity and clarity that an effective product strategy thrives.

In conclusion, successful product strategy is about identifying clear, actionable, and objective goals that meet the problem you want to solve for your audience and leveraging your company’s superpower to bridge a gap in the market. So get your product strategy game on and see your business soar to new heights.

For further inquiries or connections, feel free to reach me on [email protected]. Enjoy your journey in the exciting world of product strategy!

Video Transcription

Hello. Hello. Hello, welcome everyone. Thank you for joining and it's exciting and I heard it there were great sessions in the morning.So I'm going to share a little bit about for uh product strategy today and then talk a little bit few cases about Target and meta, which is where the company where I led the team as the head of product before. So a little bit of background uh so we will talk about product of those two cases. My name is Anya Chan, uh and I'm founder and Ceo of Taylor, which is a men wear rental subscription company. And before I start the company, two years ago, in the start up space here in Silicon Valley, I led product teams at Facebook, ebay and Target. And so today, I will be sharing some example about those company and I helped to build Facebook shopping and let the Ecommerce team building Target tablets and their product office in Silicon Valley as well as being head of product for ebay's emerging markets. I'm also very honored to be here today as a girls in tech, 40 under 40 winner. Right now, I run the start up called Taylor. It's a menswear rental subscription company similar to rent the runway for men. Plus with stitch fix sting service.

So with some monthly fee, our customer get items that ship it to their houses. Those items were picked by A I or human stylist. And so they don't need to do any shopping or laundry they wear for a couple of weeks and they send back their dirty clothes and get next shipment. So no shopping, no laundry. And if they love something, they can keep it with a discount. That's what I'm up to today. So without further two, let's jump into the product strategy using the cases of Target. So listen carefully. I'm going to have everyone to put your answer in the chat. So you are head of product at Target Tablet e-commerce team. So you are the, you, you are going to help the company to decide on what product and feature would you launch? And so you are, you are in charge of the tablet e-commerce team. That means that you are going to go with driving e-commerce revenue for 1 million per day. So that's incremental for what you have today 1 million per day before Thanksgiving. So you did some research and you try to find out who are their target audience and what you found out was they were people who are moms, they are moms who is relatively higher household income. Where do they use tablets?

They use tablets at home on the couch and the lean back moment, that's where they use tablets. So with that in mind, you also did some research about target superpower. What's target superpower? Target superpower is something anyone know what's their superpower? Maybe we can watch a short videos and for a few seconds, you know more about this. What's their superpower? Ok.

You know, I mean, we're not a boys club or a social club. We're just a group of husbands collectively waiting for our wives. Um, in the target parking lot.

I used to get so bored hours

and hours of waiting in the car.

I thought it'd be a good idea. One time to go in with the wife thought I could maybe scout out some camping gear or something like that. Just ended up holding their purse.

Eventually I just started returning the cards just to stay busy, get a little exercise. And then the target management noticed and they offered me a job. They said I could work whenever my wife was shopping. Last week. I clocked 12 hours between

2015 and 2018. I actually completed my doctorate online while waiting for my wife.

Then one day everything changed. I'm sitting in the car. It's been 63 minutes. I'm furious. And then there's this knock on the window.

Hey, got some new jerky. You want, you wanna try some

Charlie's beef jerky? Yeah, that was honestly the start of our friendship. You know, it didn't happen

all at once. Honestly, I don't remember how

it started. He came along and then this Miles guy started parking closer to us and then eventually, like, the group was just warned,

what do we do here? Well, uh, we toss the ball around the place of parts, you know, little gambling. Uh, we have supper. If it gets late or not. When miles

brought his grill, it changed everything. So

I got your standard grill set up that everyone has. We got the coffee over here, we got the beans about to go there. Rots on the grill. It's

lunchtime one summer we did a series of car washes and we actually raised enough money to put a big screen in the back of Penn's van.

So for a while it gets real damper on the group, you know, but then we got a two car system going where each guy takes a 15 minute shift watching the kids while the others just get to chill, hang out. Eventually,

we decided just to put a security camera in the daycare van so we can keep an eye on the kids. But also keep a full poker table.

Ah, ah,

this will pay for my voice. Target run.

Hey, so they got eyes on the kids. Oh, they're fine.

You know. Honestly, I think this has saved my marriage. My wife and I used to constantly fight about how much time she was spending at Target. But now thanks to the group. My marriage is stronger than ever. I

clip coupons for her now. So you can head to target and I can hang out with the guys and she can do her thing or whatever she does on there. We gotta

go. Oh, come on. They have five more minutes. We have been in here all day. I see

the seal on the side. They really, they're really

nice. They're real cute.

I know. It sounds crazy. But I look forward to those throw pillows going on sale now. Get to see my boys. Hi, we're, we're coming tomorrow. Yeah, they got a sale tomorrow. You'll be here. You got sale tomorrow.

Ok, all, I'll see you

guys tomorrow. I'll see you tomorrow.

I just hope it doesn't end with us.

I would love to see target husband groups just formed all over the world.

So what's Target Superpower? You probably all have the experience. Yes. You coming to the store. You thought you were only going to go out and just grab an egg. I don't need a shopping cart. I'm just coming and grab a meal. I will be ready out in five minutes after 25 minutes. You still have shopping in the store, have 25 in your shopping cart and you're still browsing around. So target superpower is inspiration. I want to come into a store and buy one thing, but then I come out with eight things to stop that. I don't need it. You also look at your competitors. So your job is to drive 1 million revenue incremental on tablet e-commerce. You look at your audience while mom sitting on the couch with relatively high household income. You need to achieve this before Thanksgiving with 1 million, you know, company superpower. You know, the competitor, Amazon is faster. Walmart cheaper, ebay has a wide variety of assortment.

It's time to make a decision, put your fingers in the keyboard, it's time to make a decision. All right. So for number one for you now, only have few months left. Would you view ipad apps, Android apps or would you view both put in the chat? Would you do ipad Android or both? Debbie Kelly, Lilian Contra, Rina Samantha put in the chat. Which one? Which one, both ipads or Tanya has ipads and Lillian has I OS? Yes. Yes. Y has I OS OK. Good. OK. Someone it depends, that's always a good answer. What the target design was that? You know, this is just like life. I want to gain, I want to lose weight. I want to exercise more. I want to eat less, but I just didn't have time to do both. So the reality was that we didn't have much enough time, enough money, which is just like any project. But mom will have relatively higher household income at target. So we decide to starting with our phase one was only I OS. So there was targets decision at the time. I'm not saying it's right or wrong but it was what they did. How about number two price comparison? Put in a chat? Yes or no. Would you launch a feature that you can compare price between Target and other company as well as well as items within target, different item? The price comparisons among that. Would you launch the feature? Yes or no. Put in a check. Yes. No. yes, no, yes, no.

Oh, lots of no. Someone say yes. Ok. Ok. Yeah. So what we have decided at the time was that we think if they really, really care about the price, they probably will go to Walmart. So with limited time, we definitely want to launch the feature after the minimum buyable product, which is next year before Thanksgiving, which is our goal to drive 1 million per day buy Thanksgiving. We decide not to launch a feature because it just never enough time and money and it is not something that I can compete with my competitor right away. How about number three product comparisons for number three product comparisons? Would you launch a feature where you can compare wide variety of assortments? And so then you can see different cookers, different shampoos and different swimming gears. Yes or no. Put in a chat product comparison. Number three. Yes or no. Would you launch a feature? Oh, this time is a little bit mixed. Huh? Some people say yes. Some people say no, number three. Yes or no. Yes or no. Yes. Some, no, some down which one, which one, what target decided to do at the time was that if they really care a lot of product comparisons and lots of assortments, you probably your first choice will go to ebay. And yes, we would love to have the feature.

It's definitely going to be on the road map after our mvps launch and what's in the MVP. It's not going to have included the product comparison because my competitor ebay seems doing a very good job over there and I'm not going to win right away by launching the future. Uh number four wedding registry. Wedding registry. Number four, would you launch a feature that people can put wedding registry there so they can buy for their friend or they can sign up for the registry? Yes or no. Ah, some people say yes. How about other people's point of view? Yes or no wedding registry? Some people say no debate, debate, yes or no. Which one? Uh It's definitely a great feature again. It's so cool. Like Target mom probably have other moms who were now, not your mom who were, were going to love to register a Target, which is amazing feature. We definitely love it. But do we want to launch it by Thanksgiving? Not exactly because we can still do that after Thanksgiving. I'm originally from Taiwan in Taiwan. People get married before New Year. But not in the US in for Thanksgiving. Right. So we are going to launch a feature after Thanksgiving, but not before Thanksgiving. So that a target designed now to do it. How about store mall number five, store mall number five. Yes or no store mall.

You go to a store, the app to become a store GPS, you can turn right, turn left. A RVR, you can actually see the commercial right there. Beacon knows where you are. You can just right there and decide what to, what to buy. Seeing the commercial. Yes or no. So it's such an amazing omni channel feature which, wow, you guys so smart. You didn't. I try sale really hard but you guys so smart because my mom, there are people using tablet at home and my business objective is right 1 million per day before Thanksgiving on tablet ecommerce revenue. So do I care to go to a store and buy a lot of things? Uh Not yet. So we decide not to do how about number six and seven payment card, checkout reduced crash, yes or no. Yes or no. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Show me the money. Show me the money. If I'm not going to be able to check out how do I drive 1 million revenue per day, right? So show me the money. Yes, exactly. We definitely launch the feature for sure. Yes, that's how we decided to launch those features and inspiration. Number eight. Yes or no. Put in the chat inspiration shop about Instagram shop, about Pinterest. See what other moms are buying. So then you can decide if you want to buy. Yes or no. Number eight. Yes or no. Yes or no. Yes or no. Yes.

Yes, for sure because that's targets superpower. So I use a simple framework, table state. Is it something that if I don't do no one is going to buy or is a value prop that I can win by launching the future? And there was a simple framework that we use at the time. And by launching, by doing that, we decide to launch this feature, launch a new ipad app with a feature shop about Instagram before Instagram was even shopp more than five years ago. And this was one single key feature we did, we got 1 million revenue per day and became the app of a year and that's how target won the web award with this simple decision. So let's look at what was end up launched.

It's time to get happy, like really happy because the new target app for ipad makes shopping as easy and tapped, tapped done. You can even see which target style items are currently trending on Instagram. Hashtag Awesome, right? Just think of it as having personal taste makers right at your fingertips where inspiration for your next look is. Well, everywhere you look see something you love like those impossibly cool angle. Now they're all yours. Meet the new target app for ipad. It's going to change the way you shop.

And when you, when you are deciding what feature to launch, what, what was the value prop? Something really easy to think about is use. What are the people problem you want to solve? Mom who want to get inspired? They want to get away away from the home, they want to get the way from the busy day, they want to wander around and then your superpower target is really strong, inspiring people to buy stuff. So these two combined create the value prop and using the simple value problem where we were able to form the strategy. So a quick case about meta knowing who is your customer is really important when Facebook launched their portal product, which is a giant ipads and they were actually targeting young couple CEO their ads. They were actually target young couple because one of the key feature is the camera actually followed you when you are walking around the house. So the thing, it was an amazing feature for a long distant couple, they can turn it on and just do whatever they like. And for the whole night. However, after the launch of feature, they realized that this is the number one usage of the product was the A RVR function which is called story time.

The grandparents can use a RVR to talk to their grandkids and that's why they actually buy the product. So by launching, but with that, they decided to revamp the whole product with the because of product market fit and actually redesign the whole youth experience to target grandparents.

And later on, you will see all of their ads just become more about family versus the A RVR features versus the, the grandparent versus the couple feature. They actually focus on the A RVR feature. So it's really important to think about who are your audience. And many times the existing audience are not always the persona that you have in mind. So you can use a simple framework, which is what's your people problem you want to solve? What are the gap in the market? What's your superpower? The simple problems you want to solve is pretty straight forward. You should be able to describe in one sentence, Air BNB connecting the traveler travelers to a unique place to stay. Amazon finding stuff that you with a reasonable price, right? And uh Facebook and Instagram, right, connecting the world. So people can be better connect with each other. Google organizing the world's information. So using a simple framework of people, problem gap in the markets and also your superpower, you can actually form your product triology easily by you by having these three things together. So when you are after you've done the strategy, think about asking yourself if the strategy is opinionated strategy is not about trade, just not, it's not, it's about trade off, it's not, there isn't that best trilogy or what? It's really opinionated.

It's about giving up something versus the other things. So if I focus on doing inspiration, I won't have time to do price comparison. I don't have time to, to product comparison. It's opinionated. Is it obvious or does it require that the competitor launch this the Whaler change?

This, the consumer trends goes there. The C GP D have this new feature. If it's really require a lot of things happen so that the strategy will work. You probably not a good strategy. A good strategy are usually pretty obvious you get losing weight or you exercise more while you're eating less. It's really obvious how about objective? Yes, it's opinionated, but it also comes with trade off. So you should clearly outline what's your trade off of your strategy.

And then of course, you need to be actionable. A good strategy that you don't have to is that is not something that you have to be, they have to have hired another 10 different agency to make it work is something that is actionable, you can take action on right away. So with that, that's my sharing for the product strategy. And if you're interested in contacting more and talk more, feel free to reach out to me and uh through can my cans over there and my email, I am happy to share my experience from my current start up, which is A I Power men's wear subscription similar to rent the runway to you or share my past experience at Facebook, ebay and target to you.

And so does it. I'm, I'm teaching at Northwestern University. Cool. All right. Thank you so much for spending your busy day and with me and with the short session, I enjoy the time and exercise with you guys and have a good day and have fun. Well, thank you. I will put my email in a chat and then we can call you a date, right? Thank you, Tanya. Thank you, Lian. You send my email. Please keep in touch and feel free to add me on linkedin as well. All right. Thank you so much. Please fill our survey. Appreciate it. Bye bye.