Why is product management important? 

Product management is a vital function in business and directly impacts consumer lives. Whether product managers work with startups or established organizations, they strive to take ideas from conception to market success. Their efforts can positively impact individual lives, the environment, and the overall economy.

Product managers are experts in launching viable products, services, and e-commerce solutions. If you’re interested in this career field, Hawaiʻi Pacific University's online Master of Science in Product Management is designed to help you develop technically sound products and user-focused solutions that drive innovation across digital and physical spaces.

Become a product manager, and you can be the connecting thread between brands and the customers they serve, creating a win-win scenario in the world of commerce. Let's look at four examples of how product managers can contribute to making meaningful change and progress.

The Role of Product Development in Renewable Energy Solutions

Product management and technological innovation have led to solutions that positively impact the environment and daily life. For example, advancements in renewable energy technologies, including solar panels and wind turbines, have helped reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change.

Sustainability-minded product managers specialize in developing environmentally friendly products and services within an organization. This work involves finding a balance between sustainability goals and financial performance, considering a product's environmental impact across its entire life cycle, from manufacturing to usage and disposal.

As part of the HPU MSPM program, students learn to launch a technological innovation and formulate a commercial go-to-market strategy. Launches that prioritize sustainability often lead to new business opportunities, especially as consumers demand socially responsible products and services.

While many companies claim to invest heavily in renewable energy solutions, fully committed sustainable product management has yet to be widespread. That means there's a significant opportunity to upskill in this area and differentiate your talent. By reassessing the design of new and existing products, you can help companies become part of the solution and lead the way toward a more sustainable future.

Product Development for All Ages

Product managers worldwide are exploring innovative ways to address societal and demographic issues, particularly in the face of a rapidly aging population.

At HPU, the MSPM program teaches students how to refine an idea of a product or service by focusing on a target customer’s needs. Students consider all aspects of product development through the lens of the consumer, including value propositions and pricing models, to ensure decisions will resonate.

Here's an example of product development and how it can be tailored to meet consumer needs: Typically, video game use is associated with younger generations seeking entertainment. However, a whole segment of the older population enjoys video games for cognitive benefits. According to the National Institute on Aging, researchers found that daily gameplay for individuals 60 to 80 years of age improved recognition memory.

The companies that make video games sometimes work alongside people in health care, and both pay attention to these consumer trends. But we need more product developers in this space who can conduct research in aging to help people live longer and more productive lives. Video games can help older adults feel more connected, provide a creative boost, and improve reaction time.

At HPU, we recognize the importance of the talent it takes to launch viable products and services tailored to specific audiences. From conducting user experience tests to designing solutions with a new demographic in mind, product managers help evolve how we perceive products and provide real-world applications that change lives.

Product Managers Guide Brand Management & E-commerce Solutions

Product managers play a significant role in stewarding brands through online channels and physical spaces. They help maintain brand consistency throughout the product development life cycle and work closely with cross-functional teams to ensure the features, design, and user experience align with the brand’s strategic positioning.

The HPU MSPM program helps students think from a brand manager’s perspective. Learning how to plan, implement, and analyze brand marketing programs is important so that leaders across the business understand the strategic impact. Students also study digital marketing involving cloud-based web development and online advertising of products and services.

In our digital age, product managers bridge the gap between brand strategy and product development, ultimately contributing to the success of the entire organization. In fact, the distillation of a brand’s unique positioning is often best expressed through its products and services.

The rebranding process takes work, especially for established brands. But it’s one of the keys to ongoing success. As an example of a notable rebrand, Gucci set out to relaunch its longstanding brand identity by revamping its product line in 2021, refreshing everything from sunglasses to suits.

By refreshing the product line and embracing e-commerce, they strengthened their signature brand aesthetic and successfully renewed customer interest with millennials. Gucci’s efforts also included a new web experience proving luxury brands can succeed online without negatively impacting their brand appeal.

Product managers are critical to ensuring brands’ successful launch (or relaunch) across digital and physical touch points. They pay close attention to consumers’ wants and frame the solution to meet customer needs. They are called to be the innovators and the facilitators, ensuring strategic brand stewardship at every step, whether online or offline.

Product Development Moves People (and Organizations) Forward

Product managers can make it easier for people to stay active. To encourage and incentivize sedentary people to make changes, product managers work with fitness providers and help them rethink how to get people moving.

In 2023, the well-known fitness brand Peloton launched a refresh of its product offerings, including new membership tiers, a refreshed brand identity, and new in-app content features. Peloton faced a 22% drop in revenue before revamping the brand. The skills of product managers are highly valued in this type of brand transformation.

Product managers can leverage market research to explore intriguing intersections, such as those between fitness and entertainment. They can incorporate design thinking principles to ensure the product meets market demand while adhering to organizational objectives like increasing revenue.

Become a product manager who can help organizations enhance their connection with the target audience, differentiate themselves from competitors, and expand their offerings to serve customers better. Harnessing this innovative blend of brand management, consumer design, research, and business acumen can give you an edge in the job market.

From enhancing your marketing skills to strengthening your data-driven decision-making abilities, the faculty here at HPU enjoy teaching students how to increase the probability of market viability for products, services, and digital solutions across the lifespan.

Are you ready to dive in and drive change?

As these examples demonstrate, the importance of product management is undeniable. Whether we realize it or not, we are constantly engaging with product managers’ research, insights, and results. It is a role that can positively impact businesses and communities.

Learn more about what it takes to complete a degree in Product Management at Hawaiʻi Pacific University by exploring our Online MS in Product Management home page. This program can teach you everything from digital services to e-commerce and tangible goods – a combination that’s rarely seen, but critical to the real-world application of a career in product development.


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