There’s a well-known saying that argues, “You only have one chance to make a first impression,” and that’s certainly true of new product launches. Get it right and customers will flock to you. Get it wrong and they will soon lose interest.
Know your target market
Firstly, you need to get the measure of your market. While it can be extremely tempting to launch as soon as possible, it actually makes more sense to take your time and ensure that you understand what your customers want.
You may need to do more market research, and either refine your core invention or change the way it will be available to potential buyers. You may need to do a soft launch to only a few potential customers of focus groups, and collect feedback, before arriving at your final product or audience. Taking criticism on board, and using it to make changes, means that when you do finally launch, you’ll have a greater understanding of who you’re actually launching to.
Know your competitors
Crucial to this is understanding your competition. Even the most original of products will face threats or contests from other places, even if you’re convinced that you have a one-off on your hands. Knowing who you’re up against isn’t necessarily a bad thing: it can actually push you to innovate in your own field. Also, remember that those who seem like competition are also working in the same arena as you, and may even serve as potential partners further down the line.
Keep it simple
Simplicity and direction are also key. Creating a new product usually means hours and hours of work, and what can sometimes feel like thousands of decisions on a hundred different issues. However, when you actually come to launch, you have to simplify all of this into one simple definition. What are you trying to achieve? How will you get there? Split your overarching vision and complex business plan into smaller, bite-size pieces, and it will suddenly look easier to launch.
This will also help you sell to your audience or clients. Customers today don’t have time for long-winded sales pitches or products that look complicated or require a lot of work. They want to understand the product – and the company launching it – within seconds. Knowing how to summarize in one sentence who you are, what you’re doing, and exactly what you’re launching will allow people to understand you instantly, and is central to success.
Responsive to changes
When launching a new product, it’s also crucial to know where the main bulk of your audience is to be found. Are they reading a certain kind of newspaper or magazine, likely to be hunting at the mall, seeking products from TV commercials, or even doing a bit of late night online shopping? You need to know, and change your marketing plan accordingly. Should you focus on flyers, magazine adverts, press releases, TV ads, e-newsletter mail outs, online web offers, or social media calls?
Every business will be excited about launching a new product. However, it’s important to get it right first time. Taking a little care over these key details could make all the difference.