For SaaS providers, it’s vital that packaging design aligns with the overall business and product strategy. To embed this alignment, the sketch stage involves a high-level scan of the factors that directly affect a product package, including strategic objectives, industry trends, use cases, key customer segments and product maturity.
While there are numerous packaging strategies that SaaS companies can take, our experience shows that the most successful ones consistently undertake the sketch stage iteratively to scan through the art of the possible. Even established software companies continue to go back to the drawing board and re-sketch their designs.
For example, in 2019, a few months after rolling out a new licensing plan for Dynamics 365, Microsoft2 completely changed the plan to meet specific customer needs and drive a stronger discussion on the value of the software. It adopted an à la carte menu of options aimed at serving its vast customer base more effectively.
By sketching out the options iteratively, companies can continuously review the maturity of their offerings and their alignment with customers’ buying needs. This stage also helps companies eliminate options that do not seem to work and instead focus on the ones with strong market potential.
Figure 2 shows a range of design options that could be examined during the sketch phase.