How to apply grocery thinking to the world: the example of sweatshirts

    Denis Pushkin , Head of Product Marketing at Skyeng, spoke about what inspires him to create and develop products.

    Let's start with what the product manager does - these are three well-known areas:

    1. IT products are mainly websites and mobile applications.
    2. Operating system - operational processes in any services, for example, in a call center or food delivery.
    3. Person. The most fashionable guys in the grocery get-together pump themselves like a product.

    This list is all limited, because it is not clear what else can be pumped as a product. But it seems to me that product managers think too narrowly about what they are doing. A product manager is not a profession, but a state of mind or mindset. Mindset is a collection of your beliefs that you apply anywhere.

    The question arises: why apply a grocery approach to something other than food? My answer is simple: to make products and develop something as a product is a way of life. I do not limit myself to work or to myself. Product managers want to change the world around them, and for this it is not necessary to invent a cure for cancer. Do something simpler, because the world is big and there are enough tasks for everyone. Meeting

    rooms as a product

    At Skyeng, we apply a grocery approach to meeting rooms - we have a separate backlog for them. We go to other offices and we know what systems, technologies and approaches are used. Negotiation is a product like a website or a mobile application, and it should be the best for your employees.

    Team as a product

    My key product in Skyeng is my product team, for which there is a backlog, goals, KPI, metrics and even MVP. I test different processes in a team: I conduct qualitative research, collect feedback, measure NPS.

    Baclog as a product

    Baclog is not just a list: it can have many coefficients and tools for scoring features. Try to approach backlog as a product and make a separate backlog for it.

    Relationships as a product.

    Try living with your sprint partner.
    “Why didn't you take out the trash?” You had it written in backlog. Why did you rate garbage disposal at 15 minutes, and endured it for 3 hours?
    At the end of the sprint, you must make a retro look, and then plan the next week. Relationships are getting stronger because you have metrics and you understand how to improve them.

    Sweatshirt as a product

    Pumping weird stuff is real madness. I will talk about how to pump a sweatshirt like a product. This approach can be applied to any branded clothing.

    I identified three main metrics for hoodies — these are the results I wanted to get from her.

    Coverage of the HR-brand

    At the conference, I walk in a hoodie with the words "Skyeng". She sees people who may want to work with us. At the conference they take pictures and shoot a video: it means that many more people will see me in a sweatshirt in a photo report or video.

    New acquaintances

    I come to the conference to communicate with people. The brand favors me, because you may not know who Denis Pushkin is, but you have probably heard about Skyeng. If people see the brand name on my sweatshirt, they are suitable to chat. They have an interest when they quickly recognize me in a crowd.

    I am also very quickly added to friends in social networks. If a person does not know the name and surname, he will not find me on Facebook. Branded sweatshirt solves this problem.

    Colleagues Acknowledgment

    If your colleagues like what you are doing, they will remember you and your company. When they want to change jobs, they will remember the crazy sweatshirt and think: “If even sweatshirts are pumped into Skyeng, it’s probably interesting to work there.”

    Another metric: the topic of the report

    I thought that I should have such a hoody that can be the subject of a report. I read a report on the sweatshirt and increase the audience reach - this metric returns to the coverage of the HR brand.

    Market research branded clothing

    I began to see what branded clothing looked like at conferences. First of all, I studied my photos: I took this sweatshirt in the spring of 2018. In the photo on the right, the brand is perfectly visible, and on the left, problems are already beginning: I stand sideways to the audience, and the inscription is impossible to read.

    Here is my colleague Ksenia Petrova in Skyeng sweatshirt: she has a badge and strings covering half of the logo. Therefore, I now remove the strings, and instead of a badge I have a logo on a sweatshirt.

    I often speak with a microphone that covers the logo. This is another problem in our product, which we did in a hurry.

    Here I take a selfie with the speakers at the RIF conference: the logo looks cool and immediately attracts attention.

    After research, I realized that we can increase the brand coverage at conferences using any clothing. People see some people in the photos and Skyeng. We are remembered because we stand out from the rest.


    At the same time, I began to make backlog for a sweatshirt: there were bad and good finds. I highlighted the three most important points:

    1. Need a sweatshirt. Do not hoodie, not a sweatshirt, not a sweater, not a pullover, not a jumper, not a bomber jacket, not a long sleeve. I now know how they differ. Hoodie has a big hood and strings - all this hinders and distracts attention from the logo. Hoodie is still very warm, and conferences are usually seasonal. Hoodies have another problem - zipper, which cuts the logo into two parts. I chose a sweatshirt because it is thinner than a hoodie and it has no distracting elements.
    2. Sweatshirt = badge. Normal badge closes the logo. To solve the problem, the badge must be printed on the sweatshirt. First name and last name are needed so that I can be easily recognized in the crowd.
    3. Logo on the hand. When I close the logo with my hand in front, it should be visible from a different angle.

    We act with a sweatshirt the same way as with any other product: we do MVP. Immediately make a sweatshirt - it is expensive, so we order a t-shirt and test it at meetings and meetings.

    My T-shirt had logos on the sleeves and chest, a link to the profile in the telegraph, a logo on the back and a large logo on the chest.

    After MVP you need to make the first version of the product. This is a Skyeng sweatshirt version 1.0.

    The sweatshirt has important differences from a t-shirt:

    1. Sweatshirt is the most important change. It is much warmer than a T-shirt and is suitable for all seasons.
    2. Logos on forearms, not shoulders. Now the microphone or raised hand does not obscure the logo.
    3. QR code on the sleeve instead of a nickname in the telegraph on the back. I found out that no one will come up to you and say: “What is your nickname? Let me score. " Therefore, I decided to make a QR code on the sleeve: you scan and open my telegram.

    The branded sweatshirt improves all metrics: coverage of the HR brand, new acquaintances, recognition of colleagues. The effect of a sweatshirt cannot be measured directly, but it works for the future. For example, two of the three product managers who come to work with us say: “You speak so well and talk about interesting things. Therefore, I want to work with you. ” The effect of recognition reduces the cost of hiring for us.

    Work as iterations

    I will repeat the banal thing that everyone talks about: work with iterations. Even in insane things, it is important to rethink and improve something, including your grocery approach. Your product approach is also a product. No matter what tools you will use: iteration, backlog, sprints, retrospectives. It is important to constantly move forward, analyze previous experience and take the next steps.


    1. Apply a grocery approach to everything you see on your way: to processes, products, things and people.
    2. Do market research and create a list of your observations with good and bad findings.
    3. Release MVP and test.
    4. Make the product and work through iterations to improve it in each new version.

    If at the conference they start to come en masse in branded clothes, I will only be glad. This increases competition, and competition always drives the market and gives rise to innovative ideas.

    Watch the video of the report of Denis Pushkin and the session of answers to questions. In the video, Denis presents a super-T-shirt, which we did not describe in the article.

    More videos from the conference and useful materials on product management on our channel @productsense .

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