The success of any business often depends on its approach to Product planning and launch. Launching a new product is an exciting time for any business. A company needs to prepare for the big reveal. A product launch needs to create enthusiasm and buzz in the air. The foremost important things that are to be done for Product planning and launch are:
- (1) Evaluations that need to be done before Product Launch
- (2) Proper way to launch a plan
- (3) Successful execution of the Product Launch
- (4) Post Launch
(1) EVALUATION BEFORE LAUNCH
There is no possible way to exactly gauge how a product is going to be received in a new market. A product launch has to be well planned and well executed. Before launching a product, the business needs to do an introspective study, which should cover the following points:
- - Evaluate the readiness of the company before beginning to publicize the product
- - Evaluate the company’s ability to support fast and overnight growth
- - If the launch is successful then the company’s ability to be able to facilitate the increased demand
- - Is there adequate staffing/supply lines/processes to handle the increased customer satisfaction
- - If there a protocol in place to handle customer inquiries in a customer service department
Evaluate the Product itself: Before launching a product, a realistic evaluation of the product needs to be done before releasing it to the public, which is very vital for the launch to be a success. Two questions that need to be asked are:
- - Has the product been thoroughly tested?
- - Are the results consistent?
Asking and evaluating the product time and again is only going to improve the product and make the product launch ready. An internal evaluation is a must and that can only help the product in the long run.
Evaluate the market: It is very important to conduct a thorough market research in preparation of the launch to make sure that a market does exist for the product. Two questions that need to be asked are:
- - If the product is a niche product, is there a market to support it?
- - If the available market has a place for your product?
Markets Research is mostly time consuming but they lead to vital information that can help directly launch the product. It is important for a business to identify the feasibility of the market in terms of acceptance of the product. Market Identification helps to target the right audience and increases the chances for a successful launch.
(2) PLAN FOR LAUNCH
Once the business starts planning the actual launch, it needs to look at its competition and prepare a well-defined marketing strategy.
Research the competition: It is important to thoroughly investigate the competition, as studying the competition will give the business essential information about the market that the product is going to be placed in. Studying the top competitors and their strategies can count for success. The competition is an important source of information as the business prepares to launch its product.
Identify your target market: In addition to knowing the competition, it is important for the business to know its targeted consumer base too. This helps the business to tailor the launch strategy according to the people who are ideal customers. By personalizing the target market and the marketing strategy and the marketing collaterals for the targeted customer, there is a greater success in making sure that the message has reached the intended customers.
Developing your marketing Strategy: Essential to a product launch is the development of a well-planned marketing campaign. It is important to use a variety of marketing channels to result in a successful launch and therefore a multi faceted approach is needed to reach the targeted customer. A combination of traditional marketing tools and social media tools will generate interest in the product and its launch. It is imperative for the business to evaluate advertising options that are best suited for the product and establish a strategy around it.
(3) EXECUTING THE LAUNCH
Pre-launch essentials help create the perfect environment for the launch and therefore are necessary
Start Promotions early: It is imperative for a successful launch that people are told about the new product as early as possible. If the promotion of the product is done several weeks before the actual launch, it will make the target market accustomed to the name of the product and the product itself. Name recognition plays a key role in getting customers to the product.
Pre-launch trials are important: Before launching the product, the product needs to be used by significant people who can review the product. This means the product should be offered to relevant bloggers, editors, journalists who can generate interest and excitement in the product. This shall increase customer’s willingness for the launch as well as the product. Put your product in front of experts in the field that the product belongs to and a review by an expert shall prove potential customers a validation of your product claims.
Provide product information leaks: If the business uses planned methods to ‘leak’ information, it can control the amount of information that needs to be released and henceforth generates a sense of drama that brings excitement and interest. Highlighting a few unique features before the product launch is a great way to get the intended customers to talk about your product.
Be creative: The business needs to generate the hype about its product launch by maximizing the marketing materials with creativity. Instead of creating a boring and a traditional marketing campaign, the business needs to think outside the box if it truly wants to launch the product with a bang.
Use people with a vested interest: The business should distribute the products to the investors who have a vested interest in the product and its launch. These people will be highly motivated to promote the product through words of mouth. Using investors to promote product helps two ways:
- (1) The product begins to get attention and henceforth generates excitement
- (2) Investors are assured of the product and about their Return on investment.
Be social: The business has the ability to harness the power of the social media to generate conversations about the product launch. It helps to develop meaningful interactions on the social media that may be interested in the product. When the social media circle begins to widen and expand, more and more people will begin to get involved in the product – starting a grass-root level movement – that shall launch your campaign.
(4) AFTER THE LAUNCH
Once the product launch has been done, the business needs to continue its efforts to promote the product.
- A steady supply of product related topics to reporters/journalists
- Reviews and detail customer uses of the product such as initial customer reviews need to be made available online
- Focus and establish the changes that the product brings to the market
- Keep sending in press releases related to the product to the media channels
- Social media channels should be used on a daily basis to provide information to the targeted consumers
As the product begins to garner the much needed hype, the customers need to have access to the product easily and also to detailed information about the product as well. Free trials and product demos – are great platforms to inform the public about the product offering. Throughout the course of the launch, the marketing campaign will need to be altered; appropriate changes will be needed to keep the efforts effectiveness intact. Similarly, it is imperative for the business to keep a track which media tools are the most successful in converting potential customers into sales. Preparing for a product launch is exhilarating and the list of things than can be done is endless. For a successful product launch, the company should get professional assistance that will ensure that the product is released to the target market and gets the exposure and support that is needed for the launch to be successful.