A Mini-Guide to Product Launches
Launching a new product is one of the most crucial events in a company’s history. Each product launch needs to go well in order for that product to succeed in the marketplace. New products can be ...
New products can be directed toward your already existing target market, or you can go after a new market. Every time you launch a product, you need to try to do something different that you have not done before or your launch may get lost in the midst of a hundred other launches by your competitors.
A launch can be a one-time large-scale event, but to be even more successful, you should try to incorporate many follow-ups after the big event. Here are some general guidelines to help you get through the launch process:
Before you do anything, you need to conduct some research. You need to find out the validity of your product and how it fits in the market, the features you should promote, packaging and pricing considerations, and so on. When researching, think not only about the launch, but also about the life of the product – what will you need down the road one year from now to keep the product vital to the market? Here is a brief list of what you need to research:
• Your competition
• Prospects’ buying attitudes and purchasing influences
• Demand for your product
• Technological issues (now and in the future – will your product be obsolete in a few years.)
• Key benefits to inform your potential customers about
• Packaging options
Choosing the right launching campaign
You need to choose a good theme and message that focuses on your product’s benefits. You need to balance creativity with the thought that this launch campaign could make or break your new product. It is dangerous to attempt to be clever or funny because if some people do not get it, you will lose that market. If your commercial printing pieces, like brochures or billboards, could be construed in a way that you did not intend, you could just end up as a source of entertainment.
Your message should differentiate you from your competition and explain your new product while concentrating on its benefits.
In addition to choosing the right theme and message, you need to choose the right vehicles to get your message to your audience. You will need to consider public relations tactics, direct mail pieces, e-mail or Web site ads, catalogs … there are numerous possibilities. Choose what works in your industry and what your budget can accommodate.
Once the launch is over
Celebrate and relax for a moment! Only a moment though – you need to keep following up with your target market and revisit the launch process when needed – say, for repackaging purposes, new incentives, new benefits or if you decide to target a new market.
Follow up by hosting post mini-launch parties, holding focus groups to see what people like and do not like about the product, and sending out brochures and other marketing materials to prospects that did not bite at the main launch. Send out emails and invite people’s comments on your Web site for ways to continuously make your product better.
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