7 Important Steps for a New Product Launch

A new product launch takes a lot of time and effort. You think you have done the proper background work, and now you are ready for the new product launch and all the sales and new clients it will bring in. The problem is that a lot more products fail than succeed, and a properly conceived new product launch is incredibly important for this success. Below are some important pieces of advice when you are putting together your new product or service and the ensuing launch.
New Product Launch

7 New Product Launch Tips

- The first step for your new product lunch is to closely study the competition. Many beginner marketing classes teach students the basics of a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats analysis, or SWOT. This is important, even if you truly believe you have an original and unique product that no one else offers. Go online and do some research to figure out what other businesses have to offer. Check out the way that they are marketing those products, what their prices are, and what their ads consist of. Try to figure out if your new product compares well with theirs, and what kinds of threats those products pose to your ultimate success.

- Figure out who your perfect customer base is, and target them specifically. A new product launch cannot be successful if you are spending money advertising to people that will not be interested in buying it. You need to figure out exactly who would be willing to buy your new product and what they would be willing to spend. These could be existing customers of yours that would be interested in improvements or innovations that your new product offers, or they could be customers that have bought something similar from another company.

- Analyze why your prospective clients will want to buy your product over the competition’s. Hopefully by this stage in the process you know what you need to do to make your new product launch stand out from the field. More than anything else, you need to analyze what they most want in a product such as yours, and make sure they understand what and why they are getting it, and why it is something they cannot do without.

- Figure out exactly how you want to market your product, including which advertising mediums to use. There are many to choose from, including: print, television, email, direct mailing, and the internet. Using multiple methods simultaneously often yields the best results with a new product launch, because you are able to hit those shoppers that like to be able to shop whenever they want. These people spend more than normal shoppers.

- Do not skip the testing phase! At this point you probably feel like you are ready for your new product launch. Because this can be incredibly expensive, especially if it fails, it is very important to test. This can be done through a focus group, a roundtable discussion with members of the target base, an online research company, or you can even give your product and marketing materials to those who you feel would be interested in the product. After testing you can make any final tweaks to the product and ads that you feel need to be done.

- Time to introduce the world to your product. PR is very important at this point, and it should be all planned ahead of time to get the ball rolling. Media outlets should be contacted to let them know about the product. There are hundreds of places on the internet to post product launch articles. You can hold a new product launch party that the local news channels can attend. Make sure you have a large enough supply of your product to handle the demand if it takes off. After the initial PR push, make sure you are ready to begin all your other advertising efforts.

- Watch the sales trends carefully. After you implement the initial introduction and advertising phases for your new product launch, you will need to keep a close eye on trends. When you start to see your returns on advertising investment start to decline, it may be time to update the product, or even come up with a new product. At this point the process starts all over again.

New Product Launch Summary

A new product launch can be an incredible success if planned and implemented carefully. The above steps are just the beginning of what it takes to market a successful service or product.

What you can learn from the iPad product launch

iPad 3 Product Launch

Another amazing product launch from Apple

Apple has become something of a paragon of business practices over the last decade. They have not only been turning out revolutionary products, but their marketing methods (specifically the product launch) have also been brilliant. Because of this, they have had one of the fastest expanding market presences in recent memory over the last decade. Once a company that lagged far behind Microsoft in every important category, Apple has now carved out its own niche, cornering the market on hand-held electronic devices like ipods and ipads. Part of Apple’s success surely has to do with their widely publicized product launches, and good example of this is the iPad product launch.

The ipad represented an evolution for Apple from their specialization in personal computers to their specialization in hand-held computers. Its release was preceded by the iPhone, which revolutionized the market of mobile computing with its innovative touchscreen system. During 2007, the year the iPhone was released, Apple CEO Steve Jobs had announced that Apple would no longer go by the moniker Apple Computers, and instead would be called Apple, Inc. This was representative of the shift to mobile devices that Jobs envisioned for Apple.

Rumors about the iPad began circulating not long after the iPhone had hit the shelves and experienced tremendous success. It would later be admitted by Jobs that the iPad actually was developed before the iPhone, but work on the iPad was stopped when he realized all of the capabilities of the tablet could be packaged into a phone.

It seems very possible that Apple leaks of information contributed to the rumors swirling around the iPad. This is part of the genious of Apple’s marketing ploys surrounding the iPad product launch. They developed consumer interest through rumors and speculation long before the iPad was turned out to store shelves. This led to a building level of interest fueled by Apple devotee gossip about what the upcoming iPad might offer.

By the time the iPad product launch occurred, it almost seemed anticlimactic. People had been discussing the tablet for what seemed an interminable amount of time, and Apple fans were waiting for the iPad like anxious kids on Christmas morning. The iPad product launch occurred on April 3, 2010. Pre-orders had begun mid-March, and even though Apple initially only offered the iPad at The Apple Store, they sold 300,000 iPads on the first day of the product launch. A month later, they had sold 1,000,000. By the time of the product launch for the second generation of iPads, Apple had sold 15 million of the first generation.
iPad 3 new product launch
Since then, Apple has unveiled two more generations of the iPad, each of which experienced similar success to the first version. The device is now fully Wi-Fi and 3G capable, and has garnered world-wide success.

What the iPad product launch tells business

The iPad product launch tells business scholars many things about how to create interest in a product, then how to foster and maintain that interest until the actual product launch occurs. First, it’s impossible to negate the fact that Apple already had a natural buzz surrounding the company since the launch of the iPhone. Thus, it seems like some of the interest in the iPad was undeniably an offshoot of that. Still, however, the principle holds true that kindling interest long before the actual launch of a product may go a long way toward developing a pre-existing market of curious consumers before your product even hits the shelves.

Steve Jobs helped to do this by not being shy about unveiling prototypes before his products hit the shelves. He held a public demonstration for every Apple product before he began to sell it, knowing that these quick glimpses are all that is needed to get tecchies salivating over the next new, big thing. The same approach, however, can be used in any field of business.

The idea of niche marketing and creating interest rests heavily on knowing your customer base and what sparks their curiosity. Steve Jobs was acutely aware of this, and used the information to plan his iPad product launch. The result was that, in many countries, thousands of people waited on line in order to be the first to of their friends to get their hands on a new iPad. The same tactics, however, can be applied to any business.

Product Launch Plan Template – A Working Example

Product Launch Plan TemplatePeople often times look online for a perfect product launch plan template, and unfortunately they don’t find many options. Sure, there are a few things to consider when looking at a promoting and launching any major product, but you’ll notice that there are definitely not any “perfect” templates to follow. Sure, you can emulate a variety of different options, but you’ll miss out on the greater good if you don’t take your time to careful dissect the options you see. In order to help others create a longer lasting option, we have patched together a simple template below, as it acts more as a checklist then a real template. Adhering to the tips below can help in your progress of creating a working example to utilize for the clear and present future.

Product Launch Plan Template: Pre-Launch

The first thing that you need to work on in this stage is the finalization of all product launch plan template research, implementation and building a working model of your product. Whether you’re building physical goods or you’re working on developing webpages, software, or other intangible products, make sure that this stage has you finalizing things. Do NOT miss out on the prominent ideology found here. Stick close to your guns and finalize everything in this stage. If you’re project is not 100%, do not proceed with the product launch plan template at all.

Product Launch Plan Template: Launch Event

At this point you’ll have a 100% ready to go option and you’ll need to start prepping the event that will catapult your idea and sales following the product launch plan template. If you’re not sure how to work on this, consider how many mainstream products are launched. They throw a party with celebrities, catering, and even live music. If you don’t have the budget to endorse anyone, and you want to move forward with anything of this nature, you’ll have to consider the many different choices of entertainment and catering. If you are on a shoestring budget, then consider renting an Armory or Patriot Hall or another veteran building to throw a party. These are usually low cost. Then look for a band that won’t charge too much, and you’ll have a decent party of sorts using the product launch plan template.

Product Launch Plan Template: Post Launch

The post launch phase of the product launch plan template is something that will come directly after the product launch template has been issued through 2 steps. The above steps should be fully launched and ready to go before enacting this option. This is after you’ve gone through the pre-planning, the event launch, and the actual product launching. The post launch means that you have to follow up with customers, networked friends, colleagues, and more. Make sure you set up social networking and stay in constant contact with those that have helped in the success of your product. By opening up communication channels here, you will see long-term success.

To recap the product launch plan template, you will need to pre-launch, throw an event, and set up a post launch. The above 3 elements are just a sampling of what a product launch plan template might consist of. Creating your own will mean taking into consideration the above information and personalizing it completely to fit your overall needs.

Finely, before laying out your product launch plan template be sure and check out our Product Launch Toolkit.

3 Steps To Follow In Regards To A Product Launch Plan

Have a Product Launch PlanIf you are looking to move forward with launching any major product, you’ll have to carefully evaluate your product launch plan. There are three major points to consider that you’ll need to be strategic about in order to implement a successful product launch plan. Considering the following 3 steps when moving forward can help anyone with a product launch plan. Without staging several pieces, you can’t possibly have success from the get go. Remember, the following steps are just a sample of things that will help with your product launch, please don’t neglect to consider them.

Product Launch Plan: Pre Launch

The first thing that needs to be considered in your product launch plan is pre-launch. The launch process requires a lot of planning ahead of the curve. The reason for this is simply because it’s imperative to make sure that you keep things moving ahead of the curve without losing out on problematic areas. You have to work out any kinks before the launch date, because without that, you’ll end up having to fix things as they fall apart. There’s nothing more embarrassing than having to fix mistakes after a launch. It makes the product and planning look amateur. Certain elements should be worked on at this stage, including: writing a sales page, creating a list of buyers, hosting previews, and doing any research necessary to complete the project. Having a detailed product launch plan can make this much easier.

Product Launch Plan: Follow Up

The second stage of a product launch plan is to make sure that you’re well aware of what’s going on in the first couple of weeks after you’ve launched. Without focusing on promotional work you’ve done, and keeping track of what’s happening, you’ll miss out on the opportunity to create long lasting relationships with your clients. You need to keep track of what’s happening throughout the launch, and make sure everything is running smoothly, and at the same time, work on the back end in order to keep track of information needed for a second product launch or a relaunch down the road.

Product Launch Plan: Follow Up

After the first two legs are over, and you’re several weeks out from implementing your product launch plan, it’s important to look into the post launch options. At this point you’ll need to make sure that you’re following up with any interested parties that have ordered your product, giving you an email, or have shown any sort of interest in what you’re doing. If you can keep track of this information, you can set up a great opportunity for the future. The same people that helped you in the initial launch will help you later on.

The above information is meant to further explore the implementation of a product launch plan. You’ll have to follow through with pre-launch, the launch, and the post launch opportunities that rise through the ranks of information technology. Whether you’re trying to sell a physical product, or you’re looking to implement other opportunities, it’s imperative to cycle through the options that are available in regards to information. The online world has a great deal of information to explore in regards to implanting any major strategy, which is why it’s important to take time in producing a product launch plan.