Launching a new product is a big gamble, especially if your whole business rests on it. If the new product succeeds, then your business is a success as well. If the new product is a bust, you may find yourself in a really tight position especially if you put all your resources in creating the product. Here are some of the best strategies you can use to launch a new product successfully:
Start with a Winning Product
If you want your product to be successful, you need to have a great product to begin with. No amount of skillful marketing can propel a business to success if the product is not compelling enough for users.
What is a great product? It must be a product that solves a problem for users that is easy to use, efficient and effective. It has to fulfill a real need among its users, and work in a way that it is expected to function. It should deliver on its promise. If possible, it should also be unique. Most of all, it has to be a product that will compel people to love it – and be passionate about it.
Get the Pulse of the Market
While you can’t really predict whether the product will be a success, you can increase your chances at succeeding by knowing the pulse of your target market. Big businesses typically do this through extensive market research. As a small business with limited capital, improvise and do your customer research at a smaller scale — e.g. do giveaways in exchange for answering your survey questions online.
Even if the development is not yet complete (you may just have a visual model), ask them if this is something that they will be willing to pay for. Describe the features of the product for them and what problems it can help solve, then gauge their reaction. If they respond positively, then you may have a winner in your hands!
Reach Out to Customers
It is important to make every effort to get the word out about your new product. Prepare a marketing plan, using a combination of paid and shoestring marketing strategies.
You can start by telling your friends, and requesting them to help spread information about your product to their networks. You can also put the product information in your website and make sure that you optimize it for the search engines (or if you don’t have a website, be sure to create one for the product).
Look at your budget and see if you can afford paid advertising.
Avoid the tendency to be perfect
Do not wait for perfection before launching your products. Instead, let customer feedback shape and fine-tune your product instead.
This is the common approach in the tech industry such as Google or Microsoft, which skips perfection and employs techniques such as beta launches to get user feedback and data about the product. They find that going to market early with a product before it is “perfect” and getting customer feedback is a much more important strategy for product launches.
Use public relations strategy.
Public relations remain an important strategy for creating awareness to a new product. Publications, both online and offline are always on the lookout for interesting stories and products to write about. You just need to find a way how your business or products can be mentioned in these media outlets.
The key is to connect with the individual writers, not the general contact box of that publication. Your pitch could easily get lost if you send it to the main line or contact email. Instead, make a list of writers (don’t forget bloggers!) who have previously talked about the industry and develop a relationship with them writer. One way is to interact with them on Twitter and participate in their conversations.
Focus on the lesser-known writers first, as you stand a higher chance of getting noticed. You can strike gold if a top and well-known writer takes a notice at you, but understand that top writers typically receive hundreds of pitches per day thus reducing your chances of getting noticed. When you contact these writers, be sure to stress the benefits that talking about your products can give to their target audiences. After all, it’s not about you, but about their audiences.
One important thing to remember: a product launch is not a one-time thing. After the initial salvo, you need to keep working at your marketing and product development to continue to reach and please your audiences. You don’t want to be a flash in a pan, but you want your products to be enjoyed by consumers for a long time.
Recommended Books on How to Launch a New Product Successfully
- Brand New: Solving the Innovation Paradox — How Great Brands Invent and Launch New Products, Services, and Business Models
- Best Practices in New Product Introductions: Ten Ideas for Making New Product Launches Succeed
- How to Launch a New Product Faster: 5 Secrets to Tight Project Management, Comprehensive Project Plans, and Effective Change Management (Volume 1)
- Marketing: The Online Marketing Plan for Your Startup and Product Launch (Internet Marketing, Online Marketing, Passive Income, Product Launch)
- My $1, 000, 000 Product Launch Exploit: 3 Surefire Ways To Get A Steady Stream Of Free Traffic For Any New Product
- The NEW Launch Plan: 152 Tips, Tactics and Trends from the Most Memorable New Products
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Category: Startup Basics