Six tips for a successful product launch
Whether you are launching a new product from an existing business, or your product is your new business, it is all too easy to get it wrong and fall at the first hurdle. According to some studies, as many as 65% of products launched by established companies fail, so it is vital to prepare properly when introducing something brand new into the marketplace.
Here are six tips for giving your brilliant idea the best chance of success…
1. Set product launch goals
It may seem obvious, but it is a common trap to launch a new product in a fairly haphazard way, without thinking clearly about what you’re trying to achieve. Consider what will constitute success for your product launch and set goals accordingly. You may want to take into account such things as product awareness, leads, affiliations or partnerships with third parties who will market your product, and, of course, sales.
2. Have a clear target market in mind
Very few products have universal appeal. Ask yourself: ‘Who will buy this?’ and ‘How much would they be willing to pay for it?’ Outline the profile of your ideal customer, or your most likely customer, and make sure that all your pricing, marketing and advertising efforts are geared towards them. It rarely pays to simply list the supposed benefits of a product and ‘blanket’ market, hoping for the best. And if you can’t answer those questions at all, it might be time to go back to the drawing board!
3. Define your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Once you have identified your target customer, ensure that you can justify why they should choose your product over a rival that already exists. What problem are you solving that they currently face? What need do they have that is currently unmet? Crystallise the benefits of your product by answering these questions, and make that the central message in your marketing.
4. Make sure the marketing message is clear
Confused customers don’t part with their money. Although you may understand the product and its benefits perfectly, are you sure that the same is true for the uninitiated? Try out your marketing messages on a layperson who knows nothing about the product you’ve been developing. Can they easily grasp what your product is for? If not, re-draft until they can, before your launch.
5. Make sure the product is ready
Although perfectionism is to be avoided if it prevents anything getting done – and at some point you do need to hit the button – you must equally make sure that your product is fully tested and ready to roll before you launch. The history of business is littered with examples of products that were launched before they were ready, with disastrous results.
6. Be prepared for success
You may spend so much time worrying about failure and working to get your launch right that you neglect to put the systems in place to cope should you have a runaway hit on your hands. Many businesses have run into logistical, staffing and cashflow difficulties because they suddenly find they have a deluge of orders that they can’t realistically meet. Look on the bright side, and make sure you’re ready for a winner!
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