PRODUCTHEAD: Living your brand values

PRODUCTHEAD: Living your brand values

PRODUCTHEAD is a regular newsletter of product management goodness,
curated by Jock Busuttil.

true product managers wait


What happens when words and deeds don’t align

More than office decoration: taking a stand on core values

When our values are aligned to the things we create, work doesn’t feel like work

What is meant by the word “brand”


Hot news this week: celebrity outed as being unpleasant IRL! Yes, not exactly a story that would usually even register on my product management radar. Nonetheless it did because it gives us an unintentional object lesson in why your product has to embody your brand values.

For those that have never seen Ellen DeGeneres’s show, its core value is about being nice to people. So when she’s called out by her crew for apparently being mean, it sets her at odds with the brand values of her show, and undermines the implicit trust between the show and its viewers.

In much the same way, your product and company’s actions have to embody the brand values you claim. There’s no point in claiming to put customers first if in practice your service does no such thing.

When behaviour analytics company Hotjar recently discovered that one of their customers was the merchandising website of the Trump-Pence re-election campaign, they deactivated the account and donated the proceeds “to fight racism and injustice.”

Regardless of your political leaning, can you say truthfully that your product and company honour the brand values you speak about publicly?

Speak to you soon,


what to think about this week

Be kind, rewind: Why the tables have turned on Ellen DeGeneres

Less than a year after an awkward interview in which Dakota Fanning called out DeGeneres’s economy with the truth, Ellen’s ratings are reportedly at a 17-year low amid widespread allegations of a toxic workplace culture.

Don’t sell a lie to your customers


Putting our core values to work

“We believe that the values displayed by this organization as a customer of Hotjar are clearly not aligned with our values as a company, and in the spirit of living our value of working with respect, we have decided to take action.”

Stand up for your values


The road less travelled

How do we design more distinctive, credible, and memorable products? Should we work more responsibly, more ethically? What does it mean to solve the problems worth solving?

This is your brand


The power of branding

An organisation’s brand is a whole set of associations which people make when they think about or encounter that business.

A common misconception – and one that designers are always at pains to correct – is that a brand is simply a logo or identity.

What’s the big idea?


25% off my Product Management Masterclass

I’m running a series of four live, conference-style sessions on Tuesdays in October.

  1. What Do Product Managers Do (And Not Do)?
  2. Understanding User Needs
  3. The Secrets of Meaningful Product Roadmaps
  4. Landing and Starting Your Product Manager Job

Each session is USD $20 to attend, and right now if you buy tickets to all four, you’ll get 25% off.


5 product leadership lessons learnt from the UK’s Ministry of Justice Digital team

Video, slides and transcript of what I learnt about digital transformation and working with autonomous, empowered delivery teams.

If government can change culture, any organisation can


You wouldn’t drive blindfolded, would you?

Imagine yourself jumping into your car, strapping in, and firing up the engine. You have a quick look around then pull on a blindfold before launching yourself into traffic. Likelihood of an accident? (Quite high.)

So why do so many take the exact same approach when it comes to creating products?

Take off the blindfold


Save yourself from product management hell

You know you’re in product management hell when you realise corporate strategy is absent or dysfunctional. I’ve certainly been there. This video shows you how to define your product strategy and use it to (hopefully) influence corporate strategy.

‘Get of hell free’ cards available here


upcoming talks and events

22nd September 2020, 16:00 BST / 11:00 EDT

ProdPad Webinar

Open, Honest and Always Improving: Product Management in Government

Free registration

25th September 2020, 12:00 BST / 07:00 EDT

Growing Together: Developing and Retaining your Product Team

Free registration

6th October 2020, 16:00 BST / 11:00 EDT

Product Management Digital Masterclass

What Does a Product Manager Do (and Not Do)?


13th October 2020, 16:00 BST / 11:00 EDT

Product Management Digital Masterclass

Understanding User Needs


20th October 2020, 15:00 BST / 10:00 EDT

Product Management Digital Masterclass

The Secrets of Meaningful Product Roadmaps


27th October 2020, 15:00 GMT / 11:00 EST

Product Management Digital Masterclass

Landing and Starting Your Product Manager Job


can we help you?

Product People is a product management services company. We can help you through consultancy, training and coaching. Just contact us if you need our help!

Product People Limited logo

Helping people build better products, more successfully, since 2012.

PRODUCTHEAD is a newsletter for product people of all varieties, and is lovingly crafted from 1980s pop videos.

Read more from Jock

The Practitioner's Guide to Product Management book cover

The Practitioner's Guide To Product Management

by Jock Busuttil

“This is a great book for Product Managers or those considering a career in Product Management.”

— Lyndsay Denton

Jock Busuttil is a product management and leadership coach, product leader and author. He has spent over two decades working with technology companies to improve their product management practices, from startups to multinationals. In 2012 Jock founded Product People Limited, which provides product management consultancy, coaching and training. Its clients include BBC, University of Cambridge, Ometria, Prolific and the UK’s Ministry of Justice and Government Digital Service (GDS). Jock holds a master’s degree in Classics from the University of Cambridge. He is the author of the popular book The Practitioner’s Guide To Product Management, which was published in January 2015 by Grand Central Publishing in the US and Piatkus in the UK. He writes the blog I Manage Products and weekly product management newsletter PRODUCTHEAD. You can find him on Mastodon, X (formerly Twitter) and LinkedIn.

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