The Product launch is a process or strategy of introducing a new product or service for sale for the first time and intriguing people’s attention to it. It consist of a carefully planned and scheduled sequences of events with the goal to make a big happening out of the release and make as much sales as possible in a short time span.
Importance Of A Product Launch
A product launch is a critical time for an early stage company. The success of the next product launch could determine your company’s survival. A Few years back, the practice of product launch was not well recognized. Companies somehow got their products to market, but only a few people know how they did it. Today, thanks to the advancement of internet and supporting technologies, companies have become much smarter. They know that if products are not properly launched, they can’t generate revenue, they can’t compete or even survive. With today’s dynamic economy the need of profitable and solid product launch processes are even more critical.
Some people think that the product launch is only a one-time announcement. This is totally a wrongful thought. In fact the practice of product/service launch included all of the work done during the 3 to 4 months before a product is made available to the market.
Another misconception is that most people try to associate product launch only with the marketing department. Product launch is usually homeless; it doesn’t quite fit in the marketing or product management groups. Because businesses are in such a hurry to get to market, product launch may be done by whoever is available, and with no documented processes to follow. In the case of startups or entrepreneurs, the problem is worse because there are fewer resources and no business processes. Successful launches require a solid mix of project management and marketing skills, and a simple, realistic process to follow.
Steps Of A Successful Product Launch
A successful and solid product launch delivers sales momentum to the company. It is one of the few opportunities to go from incremental to exponential sales. But, product launches are tricky because, unlike other marketing efforts, you really only have one chance to get it right. If you want to get your launch just right, it’s going to take a lot of careful research, planning and measuring, some of which must occur before you even get to the development phase.
So, in order to launch a profitable product, consider the following guidelines:
Know your Target Market: Today, a business doesn’t create a product and assume, we’re going to aim it at X group of people. They find the group of people they target (the target audience) and create products they know their audience needs.
In simple words – A target market is a set of individuals sharing similar needs or characteristics that your product hopes to serve. These individuals are usually the end users, more likely to purchase your product. Identifying a target audience of customers is among the most essential aspect for a product launch. Without knowing your target market, or whether an audience of people even exists, you can’t sensibly anticipate that your business endeavor will survive.
So, any company launching a product, must ensure that its vision is shared by the intended market and customer audience.
Identify your goals: It’s impossible to define success without first defining what you want to achieve. For a product launch, your goals will likely be smaller than the overarching goals of your business, and often serve as stepping stones to achieve some of those larger goals. Some common product launch goals include growing your customer base, increasing market share and creating awareness of your product or company.
Describe your target audience: Once you’ve determined that there’s a need for your product and how it will help you meet your business goals, you must develop an understanding of your target audience. You can know and categorize your prospects in terms of demographics—age, sex, family composition, income and geographic area—and as well as lifestyle. Try to answer the following questions:
- Are my customers innovative or conservative?
- Followers or Leaders?
- Aggressive or timid?
- Modern or Traditional?
- Extroverted or Introverted?
In case if you are a business-to-business seller, you might characterize your target audience based on their type of business, job title, size of business, geographic area or whatever other attributes that make them possible prospects. Regardless of who your target audience is, make sure to narrowly characterize them since it will be your guide as you plan your further product launch campaign.
Selecting the appropriate Marketing Programs: The next step is identifying the right marketing programs and venues for reaching the target customer and convincing them to buy the product or service.Marketing programs include External and Internal Marketing, PR and Advertising.
Set your budget: You might have some incredible ideas regarding how to lunch your product and connect with customers, but if your budget is limited then you may need to reconsider your techniques. Don’t blow your budget on the dream that your product launch will bring a flood of new business, because if your plan isn’t that effective you might end up draining money. So, your budget should be realistic and should reflect both the present condition of your business and the potential development you see in your business’ future.
Live by a calendar: After you complete all the above mentioned steps, determine what you need to do to put them into action. Then make a product launch calendar, noting the required monthly, weekly and daily progress necessary to propel your launch plan.