Many of our customers are committed to successfully bringing new products to market. But they often find that it’s a daunting undertaking and sadly many new products fail. This episode of One Good Idea offers guidance for launching a new product.
Product launches involve a lot of moving parts. For this episode, we’ve focused on a recent conversation regarding the product announcement aspect of the launch.
This is when the general market meets your new product in its entirety for the first time. It’s the products big debut.
Did you know that if you Google planning a debut, there search yields numerous articles that offer guides? These guides keep you from having to start from scratch or reinvent the wheel. True, there are generic guides and checklists for product launches that are helpful.
Use Checklists to Help Streamline the Process and Reduce Costs
The value of guides is that they help expedite the process and help keep you within budget.
Let’s use the example of designing and building a home. Something else with a lot of moving parts. Starting from scratch to create a blueprint can be expensive and time consuming.
It’s helpful in the design phase to start by making a list of things you need and like and a list of things you don’t need and/or like, to visit spec and model homes, and review existing floor plans. Often there are floor plans fairly close to what you need so you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. This expedites the process and is helpful to architects. Or in the case of launches, this work helps any third parties, such as agencies, event planners, understand what you want from the start, reducing rework which helps keeps your costs down.
There are a few other ways to start to customize the announcement phase of the launch.
How a Case Study Approach Supports Planning a Product Announcement
One of the first questions we ask customers regarding the debut phase of their product launch plan, is “what are some examples of products and services in a similar space that you feel have been extremely successful and/or unsuccessful?”
In essence, we are encouraging a case study approach to gain insight into what did and didn’t work. This approach combined with doing your own research, attending industry events, and understanding the target market serves as good starting point for planning and launch.
What if there isn’t much to go on because the market is small or very early? The approach will still work. Look for examples that are similar. Perhaps a similar product in a different market or how a different product was successfully launched in your market.
We can return to the floor plan example to illustrate this idea. You might not find the perfect floor plan, but you may be able to identify preferred elements you want to incorporate.
Let’s say you do find examples of product announcements that seem to be in line with what you’re looking for and you want to learn more about what they did, what they rejected, what worked and what didn’t. Typically, that’s not information you find on the internet anywhere. What then?
Thank goodness for vehicles like LinkedIn. Right at our fingertips are potential people who worked at the company during the product launch or even managed the launch. Reach out and see if you can connect with these people. If these people are willing, engage in a conversation to find out more about what they did, resources they used, what they would do the same and what they would do differently if they had the opportunity to do it again. This is an excellent aspect to the case study approach.
Having orchestrated product launches, we know it takes a solid team. Some companies use industry events for their debut. If you have the good fortune to attend an event where there is a launch, use the opportunity to see how things unfold, connect with the launch lead, learn what external resources were needed, who they used, and how effective they were. For more ideas to support your product launch, check the website for more content.