Every year there are thousands of new products that enter the market and I am sorry for being the bearer of bad news, but the majority of them are destined to fail.
Why? Well even making one mistake can ruin your entire product launch. With so many intangibles in the process, it’s highly likely that something could go wrong. So, let’s take a look at some issues that may arise, so you can avoid the pitfalls.
Product launch strategies and what you need to Avoid
Don’t assume that there’s a need for your Product
Just because you love your product – don’t assume that everyone else will. Poor research in the product development stage can be a huge problem, so make sure that you do your research. Remember to remove your blinkers! An honest assessment can save you a lot of time, money and heartache!
In particular, consider whether people will choose your product over the competition, and if so, why? What makes your product different? Is there a real need for your product in the marketplace?
If you can’t answer these questions, you are already setting yourself up for failure. You absolutely need to know the answers long before you consider taking your product to the marketplace.
Don’t Forget To Plan!
When you’re planning to launch a new product, there’s a lot of work that needs to happen beforehand. And with so much to think about, it is easy to forget something crucial or not allow yourself the time you need to create your copy, design your sales page, create your sales page, let alone all the other stuff. When launching a product, there’s just so much to do. You must also have a product launch strategy!
And as they say, prior planning prevents poor performance – so a detailed project plan with realistic timeframes is essential. Don’t think, “Oh, creating a sales page is just two days of work.” Then all of a sudden it takes a week, and then “Murphy’s Law” kicks in and things go wrong left, right and centre, and you are just unable to meet your deadline. Don’t make this mistake. Have everything planned out in a realistic timeframe so that nothing falls behind. You’re doing a big thing– do it carefully!
Don’t announce a launch date too soon
There is a couple of undesirable things that can happen if you announce a launch date too soon:
Embarrassment: If you make a promise to your customers, you need to keep it or else. It is embarrassing if you can’t meet a deadline.
Copycats: If you release information too soon before you enter the market, you do run the risk of having others copy your product. Make sure your release plan
Ensure your product launch strategy is solid with realistic and measurable timeframes and outcomes, so you don’t accidentally make competitors even before you launch your product.
Don’t ignore other internal teams
How long do you keep a new product under wraps before presenting it to the rest of the company? If you’re keeping it under wraps at all, you’re probably holding your team back.
Every department of your business will have a different way to help with your product launch.
If you’re not keeping everyone in the loop, you’re going to make mistakes!
- Your technical teams (i.e. IT and engineering) can help you anticipate any technical difficulties or things to watch out for on launch day and prepare solutions.
- Your support team can guess the questions you might get, based on their close relationship with users.
- Your sales team can tell you which parts of the product will be the ones that “sell” so you know which features to play up the most in the launch.
Don’t forget to train key stakeholders
Not only should your internal teams know about your launch, but they should fully understand the product also. That means training them in advance.
Keep this as one of your product launch strategies to-dos. Train anyone who will be demonstrating or promoting the product on your behalf—not just your own team. That includes any resellers, retailers, partners, etc. Even journalists who might be covering the launch should get a real look, if possible.
Don’t forget to have a plan in place for a “worst-case scenario”
What if it’s the day of the product launch and your server shuts down due to overwhelming traffic, or your email service goes down, or your distribution network has a hiccough. What’s going to happen then?
There are so many things that can go wrong, so you should prepare yourself for the worst scenario in advance.
Make sure to have a duplicate copy of everything for your product launch: your sales page would be on two different servers; you have two different email providers. Doing this makes sure that everything will still continue
as it should despite any situation.
Use lessons learned to improve your launch process.
There will always be a better way to develop a product and the way your team conducts a launch. That’s why post-launch exploration is so important.
Dig into analytics to see how the launch could have executed better and apply this analysis to future launches.
Look at early feedback to consider changes to the product. And consider surveying your team to help you improve your processes.
It’s good to take a look back both right after the launch, to capture initial data and opinions, as well as a little later to see how the journey of your launch played out.
It is very difficult to launch a new product successfully. Some estimates put the failure rate of new products as high as 95%. With hard work and attention to these areas, hopefully you can avoid the mistakes that others have faced.
All in all, it’s really about planning! Make sure you know everything well in advance, that you’ve planned enough, set the date well, kept all your partners in the loop, prepared for all the worst-case scenarios, and learning from the previous launch.
Getting all of this right will help you have a rocking product launch!