The Innovation: Help Citrix leadership learn to learn from failure as well as success, and explicitly embrace the fact that every experimental product is not going to be a home-run.
When my team initially took on the challenge of defining a new process and approach to managing getting experimental products to market, one of our biggest initial insights was that the company needed to learn to have a more nuanced approach to developing product brands. Experimental products are just that: experiments. And the point of an experiment is to test a hypothesis. And implicit in the term is the acknowledgment that the outcome is unknown. As a result, many experimental product fail to become big hits. This doesn't make them failures, but it does mean that an organization that embraces the rapid release of new experimental products has to do two things: learn to learn from failure as well as success, and learn to embrace the fact that every experimental product is not going to be a home-run. Citrix had to find a way to rightsize early investments in things like product brand development accordingly.
The Brand Experience team did research with a number of product development teams working on skunkworks projects, working to understand not only what their needs and pain points were from a go to market standpoint, but also understanding the internal cultural needs around product identity that helped successful teams build a sense of critical team identity around their project. We also reached out to necessary functional support teams like marketing and legal that were key advantages a larger company can bring to the table when supporting new product innovations at launch. We then developed and entire brand development and market launch process that helped provide experimental product teams with the support they needed to develop a meaningful identity around their product, and clear guidelines for how to deal with everything from visual identity to how to – and just as critically from a brand management standpoint – how not to leverage the larger Citrix brand. We ended up developing an entire umbrella brand that accommodated all new experimental products, which were subsequently launched under the Citrix Labs sub-brand. This included significant work done to help clean-up and align critical account ownership roles across Apple and Google app store endpoints.