So you’ve done your homework and have tested and retested your new product before launch. Congratulations! You are well on your way to getting your new product out there into the hands of consumers. If you are just testing the waters for the launch of a new product, this post can be useful for you too and might have some new considerations that you might not have thought of yet.
Getting a product out there is tough business. Competition is tough and consumers are becoming more and more demanding for higher quality with a lower price point. Though all specifics are different depending on the product, we thought we could offer a few insights to helping you with your launch.
Prior to launch (and if you are just testing the waters):
1. Idea: what’s your idea for your new product? Write it out and be thorough. What makes it unique and different?
2. Market research: who is your intended consumer? How will you reach them? What other products are out there that are similar? How will it be produced? What are the costs for developing it? What kind of pricing (both retail and wholesale) will you sell it at?
3. Prototyping: Once you’ve finalized the first two steps, it’s time to make the prototype. If you are partnering with another company to manufacture your product, research them first to make sure they are reputable. (tip: Be sure they sign a confidentiality agreement. We also suggest a lawyer at this point too to make sure your idea is protected.)
4. Testing and retesting: Once you’ve got your prototype, it’s time to test it out. Though it can always be exciting to share your new product with family, don’t limit it to just them to test it out. Families are generally loving and supportive and generally won’t offer you the critical feedback you’ll need for your product to succeed. Be sure you hit people that are your intended consumer. Gather your feedback and make adjustments as necessary. A good rule of thumb is that you’ll want about 70% to 80% of positive feedback before launching your product. Anything less than that will need more adjustments.
5. Launch: Once you’ve reached 70%-80% of positive market feedback, it’s time to launch your product. Keep in mind that even after your initial launch, there will still be some need for adjustments once it hits market. (think of Apple Iphone 3, 3G, 4 and 4GS as prime examples)
Launch time (now the fun begins! It’s time to market your product and get it into the hands of consumers.)
6. Marketing: We recommend working with a marketing and design company as one of the first steps. It’s vital to have a great brand from the very beginning. Your team will help you with developing a strong brand and identity, website, marketing and social media strategy. Marketing and creative design companies generally have a great way of telling your story to make it more personable and desirable for consumers.
7. Create your campaign: Once the foundation is laid out for your new product and you know your brand, it’s time to create your campaign using these components. Your product should have a unique story and what marketers like to call a USP (unique selling proposition… though we don’t like to call it that… kind of boring for us).
8. Tell your story: You can get the word out there by advertising through traditional outlets or by using more modern technologies like social media. YouTube has a great track record for getting products noticed and going viral. If you have the money, tradeshows are a proven way to get your product out there and right in front of buyers (assuming you are selling wholesale, not just retail).
9. Understand your product lifecycle: You will need to closely monitor your sales from the time your product launches. If you go for a long time period close to a flatline and sales decline, it’s time to either revamp your product and add new features. Be sure to gather your feedback about your product and take those suggestions and comments into consideration when deciding to change things up.
10. Reevaluate: There are times when a product just won’t spike in sales, regardless of how many upgrades or new features you add. If this happens to you, it’s time to reevaluate and consider either tweaking the product for a new target demographic or retiring the product. You’ll need to take the information you have about your product, analyze what worked and what didn’t work and come up with a new product to boost sales and get people excited again.