10 Essential tips for launching a new product
Every day, entrepreneurs and businesses come up with new product ideas. Some products are brand new, whereas others are adaptations or upgrades. Launching a product is exciting, but it's not straightforward. If you want people to buy, endorse and buy more products from you, then you need to launch your product properly. Here are 10 essential tips for launching a new product:
1. Branding a new product
Branding is an essential part of a product launch. If your company is new, brand ideals need to be in place so that the product messaging is in line with it. Consider whether your brand requires a supporting strapline to be understood in the market place. If your brand is established then the product name needs to 'fit' with brand guidelines.
2. Naming a new product
Naming a new product is very important - it could be pivotal to success or failure. Careful research needs to be carried out to ensure that it is not currently being used in the same industry. If the name is not being used, consider whether you want to protect the name by trademarking it. If the product has a patent pending, this needs to be communicated on sales and marketing communications.
3. Preparing to launch a new product
There are many things to consider when launching a new product, not least the capacity to meet demand. Here are some questions to consider:
Supply chain – Do you have reliable supply chain agreements in place, and do you have a backup plan if a supplier lets you down? Where will stock be held and despatched from?
Product launch proposition – Is your product proposition clearly understood by all stakeholders? How does this compare with competitor products? Where do you want to position the product in the market place? What are the benefits and USP's for your target audience?
New product trials – Have trials taken place and has the feedback been analysed and acted upon? Does the product require modifications or does the proposition need amending in line with feedback?
Product packaging – How will the product be packaged and delivered? Is the packaging designed, and is the product branded? Is supporting documentation to be included e.g. a user guide or warranty?
Customer support – What support is in place for customers? Is there a product guarantee? Is product support available? Does the product require maintenance, upgrades, spare parts or aftercare?
4. Defining your target audience for new a product launch
As you would have researched your market place and established a need for your product, you should understand who your customers are; markets, locations, buyer profiles, buyer behaviours, and so on. This is essential as you will need to create your messaging for this specific audience.
5. Pricing a new product
This is another area which needs careful research before going to market. The price to manufacture a prototype or small run will always be higher than mass production. So where do you want the price point to be in the long term and how will you achieve your margins and over what period?
What are customers prepared to pay? How does it stack up against similar products? How do you justify the cost if it's a new innovation e.g. where's the value? Are there scaling prices and what is the wholesale price if selling to a reseller or distributor?
Is there a promotional price and period? Do current customers receive preferential pricing?
Pricing is always tricky – too high and you lose potential sales and credibility, too low and it can undermine the value and be difficult to increase.
6. New product messaging – It's important to focus on the benefits and value of the product to the customer, not just the product. Whilst the technology or materials may, in your view, be 'world class', what matters is how and why your product solves a problem and how it benefits the customer. Agree the primary campaign messaging and communicate this through all channels.
7. Marketing collateral and sales tools – Sales staff will need sales tools and product training, and a sales process should be in place. You will need sales literature, product photography, videos, digital landing pages, campaign tools, etc. Your website is central to all incoming traffic from external communications, so the new product should be clearly promoted throughout the site.
8. Launching a new product
Agree a date for a soft launch to let your customers know about the product first - they are your best route for feedback and initial sales. Following feedback, set a date for a public launch and create a timetable for communications, ensuring that all resources are available and booked.
9. Marketing a new product
When your product is ready for launch, marketing will catapult it into the market place. You need to marketing plan which will define the right marketing channels to reach the target audience.
10. Marketing Channels – Write a marketing communications strategy and set a budget, and evaluate marketing effectiveness at set stages and then adjust accordingly. Ensure that messaging is consistent across all channels, and with sales teams.
There are many different marketing channels, however to launch the product you will want to initially reach as many target customers as cost effectively as possible. For example:
Public Relations – issue a press release or have a press launch – maybe a press party or gathering. If possible use a specialist PR agency to reach the right people, so that your story gets wide media coverage.
Events or seminars – either organise your own customer event or user group, or book a speaker slot at a relevant event, and exhibit at niche events.
Social Media – create promotional campaign images and videos for targeted advertising on relevant social media platforms. This will help you to increase followers and brand awareness.
Additional communications might include live stream video, live demonstrations, email marketing (buy new data if required), direct mail, posters and banners, digital advertising and affiliate partners – the list goes on and very much depends on your budget!
As you can see, there's a lot to consider when launching a new product. However, regardless of the size of your budget, the type of product or the size of the market, these 10 essential tips for launching a new product will help you achieve success.
TPMC has helped customers to launch all kinds of new products, across multiple industries - take a look at some of our work.
From branding to naming, planning, graphic design and packaging, and marketing communications, our product marketing experts can help you with every stage of your product launch.
For more information or, if would like help with launching a new product, please don't hesitate to contact us.