Planning the launch of a new product can be exciting, but there are a few things to bear in mind to make sure the release is a successful one – especially as research suggests the majority of new launches result in failure. Take a look at our top tips to check that you’re on track.
1) Know your audience
It’s vital that you identify the target audience for your new product or service, especially if they’re likely to be in a different demographic to that of your usual clientele. Think carefully about who might be attracted to your new offering (as opposed to who you would like to buy it) and tailor your marketing campaign accordingly.
This might involve creating a message specifically for that customer group, and/or choosing different marketing platforms to the ones you normally utilise to ensure you reach the right people in the right places.
2) Start marketing early
A common reason for the failure of new product launches is starting the promotional campaign too late. You should ideally get your marketing team on the case once you’ve confirmed the nature of the new product, even if the final version ends up being something a little different.
This way, your advertising executives can tweak the campaign as changes are made to the product, so it’s pretty much finished and good to roll out as soon as the offering in question is ready to be manufactured or delivered to customers. This is especially important if you operate in a particularly competitive marketplace, as launching too late could give your competitors an edge over your firm if they decide to release a new product too.
3) Have the right production facilities in place
Start planning the manufacturing phase as soon as you can – you don’t want your product launch to be marred by early shortages! If production is taking place in-house, check that you have the right machinery for the job, including processing, sorting and packaging equipment, as well as the right staff who are trained to operate these.
If you intend to outsource the manufacturing function, speak to several firms to ensure you don’t pay over the odds, and check that your chosen partner is able to quickly deal with any changes to the product and fluctuations in demand. Keep them in the loop in the run-up to the start of production and ensure communication channels remain open afterwards.
While you’re likely to have undertaken extensive testing and worked with consumer focus groups when designing the product, the most important feedback will come once it’s on the market. Make it easy for customers to get in touch with you with their thoughts, and pay attention to the media in case anything relating to your product crops up in articles or reviews.
How you respond to this feedback is up to you – if you’re completely confident in your product, you might think it’s pointless changing anything as a result of criticism from one or two people outside your company (but don’t forget to reply to these consumers to see if you can resolve their complaints, and check whether your marketing efforts require a review).
However, if this criticism quickly becomes a general consensus and in-house retesting suggests there are issues to overcome, you should seriously consider re-launching the product with changes.
Trevor Banks has been engineering packaging machinery for over 35 years and is an avid Farnborough Town FC fan.