Providing structure and logic around product hierarchy

The payment industry was facing ongoing challenges: market maturity, price erosion, regulatory and compliance pressure and rising customer demands. In addition, the business environment was becoming more global and complex and technology enhancements creating the need for scale was paramount in order to remain competitive. Not surprisingly, these changes were creating unique opportunities in the global payments marketplace. Among these opportunities was the chance for organizations to reposition themselves. First Data had repositioned itself from a global provider of transaction processing services to be the global technology leader in information commerce. Recognizing the critical role product architecture would have in the success of this repositioning, First Data embarked on a company-wide initiative to provide structure and logic around product hierarchy naming and nomenclature. FullSurge was brought in to help with this initiative.

Not everything is a “solution”

FullSurge began with a comprehensive audit of the global payments industry. We also recommended conducting primary research with First Data management and customers across their key regions – North America, Latin America, the Asia Pacific and the Middle East and Africa as well as key financial analysts. From our analysis, three key themes emerged: 1) Given the organization had grown through acquisition, product brands had proliferated, diluting the value and power of the corporate brand 2) As product teams had never been integrated they became insular and siloed, resulting in an organization-out rather than a market-in orientation 3) Everything was a “solution,” there was no delineate between actual “solutions” and more commodity offerings. Based upon these key learnings we developed the guiding principles that would inform the following key deliverables:

  • Hierarchy framework
  • Product roadmap value proposition
  • Product framework

We then turned to naming strategy and developed a decision tool to help objectively determine when an offering was a true “solution” thus qualifying for a new name versus a more commodity or parity offering. We developed the new naming convention as well as the naming guidelines to ensure that the naming strategy was consistently being executed. The guidelines also included the “nuts and bolts” of naming the approved name and word type usage as well as how/when to commence with a new naming project.  

Everything was a “solution,” there was no delineate between actual “solutions” and more commodity offerings.
Successful implementation for effective repositioning

FullSurge formally presented our findings and recommendations to First Data’s CMO who fully embraced our strategy recommendations. The hierarchy framework was shared with senior marketing and product leadership and cascaded throughout their teams to ensure it was being used to drive all customer-facing communications. The product framework was shared with the digital team and successfully implemented across the company’s website effectively delivering on First Data’s brand repositioning. The naming strategy was also adopted and has resulted in 63% less new names be created as well as reducing trademarking and legal costs by 23%.



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