A Simplified Product Manager Job Description and How Abercrombie & Fitch Leaders are Listening to their Customers

I believe the job of a Product Manager is to guide a team to ship the right product on time.

A basic job posting for the role would be as follows.

Product Manager Job Posting

Job Description

Make something people want.

Paul Graham, Y Combinator Motto

Responsibilities

  1. Talk to Customers
  2. Figure out what Customers want
  3. Lead the team to improve the Product

The nuance of the role is shaped by the industry, specific domain/industry knowledge, stakeholders, and technologies.

Abercrombie & Fitch

Abercrombie & Fitch has been revitalized by CEO Fran Horowitz and CMO Carey Collins Krug.

How are they doing it?

They are talking to their Customers. They are figuring out what they want, and are creating products that satisfy those wants.

“When you think about the concept of a great escape, and you put that into today’s 20-something vernacular, it’s the long weekend,” Collins Krug said. “So we started with understanding that 96-hour period in our customers’ lives.”

Abercrombie & Fitch Is Reaping the Rewards of Taking Adult Women Seriously

The long weekend for the typical Abercrombie customer no longer entails bonfires on the beach or hitting the clubs until dawn. Instead, Collins Krug said, it means finishing a Zoom call at work, running to a workout class, grabbing a cocktail at happy hour, catching a flight and—most probably—attending a bachelorette party, bridal shower or wedding. 

Abercrombie & Fitch Is Reaping the Rewards of Taking Adult Women Seriously

“It was that focus and really understanding the lifestyle of that 20-something that has given us the growth that we’re seeing today, and unlocked a lot of opportunities not only from a brand and marketing perspective, but also from an assortment perspective,” Collins Krug said. 

Abercrombie & Fitch Is Reaping the Rewards of Taking Adult Women Seriously

In 2019 it added a new range of denim after listening to the complaints of curvier customers, who struggled to find jeans that fit both their hips and waist. In 2022 it introduced YPB, a range of activewear, after noticing women’s growing interest in fitness. And on Thursday it will unveil the A&F Wedding Shop, a collection of more than 100 pieces including dresses, bikinis, and pajamas designed for brides, bachelorette party attendees and guests to wear across the extended wedding season.

Abercrombie & Fitch Is Reaping the Rewards of Taking Adult Women Seriously

Listen to your customers and build what they want. The formula is working for Abercrombie & Fitch.

$ANF is up 361% in the past 5 years.