What Is Product Analysis ?

January 14, 2022 by

Perhaps the best way to understand product analysis is to unravel the questions that analysts try to answer through it. 

  • What is the abstract definition of the product in the context of the analysis ? What is the agreed upon definition within the organization ?
    • For example: rather than saying a small consumer loan’s definition is “a small loan given for consumption purposes”, a more nuanced definition could be used such as “a type of consumer loan which main purpose is to serve retail clients and accompany them in accomplishing their short to mid term goals such as buying a car, furnishing their house, getting a computer, etc”
  • What is the market in which the product operates ? What is the product’s target market ?
  • What are the product’s components and functions ?
  • What technologies and processes take part in the manufacturing/development of the product and what are their capabilities ?
  • What are the costs associated with making the product ? and what is the sales approach adopted for this product ?
  • What kind of metrics and kpis are used to monitor the product ?
  • What are the problems associated with the product ?
    • But first, is it a product problem or a marketing problem ? Is it a product problem or a sales problem ? ….etc. Or to go even further is it a product problem or a company problem ?
      For example: “driving more revenue” as expressed is a company problem; “driving more revenue through a X product” could be a product problem; and “product is not performing as expected” is a product problem - could be that requirements are not aligned, or product not designed to answer its core segments, or product not keeping up with its target market’s demands, ..etc.

What is the difference between product analysis and other types of analysis ?

We can also understand product analyses by contrasting them to other types of analyses. Perhaps the distinction that is most confusing is product analysis vs marketing analysis (not to confuse as well with market analysis). 

This confusion is fairly understandable because marketing analysis and product analysis do intersect in some areas like understanding supply and demand. And let’s not forget that historically, product management was part of marketing.

Practically, elements of market analysis can help us perform a more exhaustive product analysis and at the end of the day what really matters is asking the right questions and using these analysis-tools to better ask them and answer them.  

Still and all, we can draw some distinction between the two. We can think of Marketing analysis as a business plan that navigates the market the product will be operating in. So in terms of approach, marketing analysts start by looking at the market and investigating its components; whereas product analysis starts by looking at the product and its components and how it’s used, and then branching out to other areas that intertwine with it if need be - provided the same perspective is kept. 

Another confusion is requirements shaping vs product analysis. Requirements shaping focuses on the needs the products should answer (some keywords to help visualise this could be: properties, constraints, procedures); product analysis on the other hand focuses on how the product came to be and how the target clients use it (some keywords to help visualise this could be: design, architecture, process, user experience)

Why perform a product analysis ?

Product analysis is a tool; and as any tool it is up to its user to define its usage. Nonetheless, we can find many mainstream usages of product analysis in different industries and across many businesses, depending on the problem at hand.

Examples of usages could be :

  • Understanding all the facets related to the product from its inception to its go-to-market (also called a product teardown; i.e. gathering as much information as possible to extensively understand the product) 
    • Could be used as well to understand customer journeys through the lens of the product.
    • Could be used also to perform a technical assessment of the product or to monitor and/or audit the processes related to the product
    • Determining the operating environment of the product
  • Using product analysis to design a product or develop the technologies or processes needed as infrastructures or ground works for the product’s development or manufacturing.
  • Performing product analysis to understand how the product came to be, what implemented processes and technologies contribute in its development or manufacturing. 
  • Conducting a product analysis for the purposes of quality assurance, lean manufacturing, agile manufacturing, identifying bottlenecks, improving specific processes or technologies, inter alia.
  • Performing product analysis as an instrument for competitive intelligence, product strategy development or monitoring, pricing strategy development or monitoring marketing or sales strategy improvement, etc.

Is product analysis enough ?

In this day and age, even having a great product is not enough. So the short answer to that is obviously no. However, product analysis could be a great competitive advantage as it covers a lot of areas that the product interacts with such as clients, markets, operations, supply and demand. 

Indeed starting with product analysis can cover a lot of areas and help branch out to other analysis depending on the problems and priorities the company is faced with. 

An example of that could be to branch out to market analysis, competitive analysis or customer journey analysis.


[1] Carnegie Mellon University - Software Engineering Institute (2001) Product Line Analysis: A Practical Introduction.

[2] MIT Sloan Management Review. Finding the Right Job For Your Product April 01, 2007.

[3] MIT Sloan Management Review. Understanding your customer isn't enough May 07, 2009.


Please cite this article as :

NNZ. (Jan 2022). What Is Product Analysis ? NonNeutralZero. https://www.nonneutralzero.com/blog/analytics-data-6/what-is-product-analysis-10/.


 title   = "What Is Product Analysis",
 author  = "NNZ",
 journal = "nonneutralzero.com",
 year    = "2022",
 month   = "Jan",
 url     = "https://www.nonneutralzero.com/blog/analytics-data-6/what-is-product-analysis-10"

Subscribe on Substack

We publish some of our articles on substack so you can easily get the latest articles on your inbox.


Share this post
Sign in to leave a comment