Congratulations! You’ve come up with a killer idea for a new product or service, one that can give your business a huge boost. But now what do you do? How do you launch your new product or service? It’s time to start planning so you can broaden your reach into new markets and increase that always-important bottom line. Because of the risks involved in bringing a new product to market, you need a great plan. Start by considering the following steps.
Consider These Factors Before You Launch Your New Product or Service
With technology moving faster than ever, it’s vital to stay ahead of the curve. Entrepreneurs who continuously embrace the next new thing, innovators such as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, reap the rewards. Sitting on your laurels and never moving forward is a fast way for your business to become stale and obsolete.
But that doesn’t mean it’s always a good time to launch a new product or service. Sometimes the launch of even the most innovative product can backfire. Perhaps your business already dominates a niche with an existing product. Its outlook is strong, with lots of room to grow. Wanting to stay ahead of the curve, you shift some focus to developing and launching a new product. Because your capacity to produce is fixed, your new focus takes away from your existing successful product. Eventually, it gets passed by competitors.
Another risk involves the actual product launch. You could have the most innovative product the world has ever seen. But without a successful launch, it might never get off the ground and establish a foothold in the market.
Before you commit to launching a new product or service, it’s a good idea to give some thought to how to develop and market it without sacrificing your existing business lines. Market research can help you identify the need for the new product, and careful planning can help you make a splash with your launch.
Get Your Employees on Board
Your employees, from the bottom of the organizational chart up, are a vital part of a new product launch. They’re the ones doing the tedious work of market analysis, research and development, and manufacturing. But even more to the point, they are consumers themselves. Their position on both sides of a product launch — seller and buyer — gives them a unique vantage point to provide insight.
When everyone in your organization is on board and you involve them in the process from day one, you end up promoting a flourishing marketplace of ideas — the more, the better. You get more and better input, and your employees feel engaged and included, leading to higher productivity and better ideas.
Get Everyone on the Same Page
The fastest way to doom a product launch is to have different people and departments working on islands. The earlier you get everyone on the same page — ideally day one — the better.
So what’s the best way to accomplish this goal? Try creating mock specs of the new product with help from each of your employees to help them catch your vision. When you work as a team to draft a press release outlining the details of the new launch, they can start looking to the future and embrace your new product. Either way, everyone gets involved in developing the blueprints for what the product and the launch are going to look like.
Make Your Employees Experts
Once the new product or service goes to market, your employees become your product ambassadors, the people who can introduce it to your target market. If you take the time to help them become experts on the new product or service, training them on all its details so they’re able to answer any questions that come their way, you empower them to take your product launch to the next level. Don’t wait until the product is fully developed and then give your employees a cursory overview, expecting them to take it to market with only basic knowledge. By the time the product goes live, your goal should be that your employees know more about it than you do. After all, there’s only one of you to promote the product, but many of them.
Involve Your Customers in the Process, Too
Your customers aren’t on your payroll, but they can still contribute to a new product launch in a big way. In fact, their contributions are arguably the most valuable of anyone’s. After all, they’re the ones you’re relying on to create the demand for what you’re selling.
Solicit feedback from your customers early and often. If they have concerns, listen to them. Even if it holds up production, it is vital to develop a product or service that resonates with customers.
Get them excited about what you’re doing. If a handful of employees spreading the word about your product can be useful, imagine the effects of hundreds or even thousands of customers doing the same.
Plan a Successful Launch
Never underestimate the importance of the launch itself. It should be planned to create as big a splash as possible. That means making sure that the product is ready, that the details of the launch are in order, and that your launch has a sufficient platform to reach customers in the numbers you want.
Launching a new product or service is an exciting time for any business. Do it right, and it can pay off for years to come, but a lousy product launch can set your business back and hurt your existing products or services. That’s why you should be painstaking in planning a winning launch from beginning to end.