As the saying goes, you only have one chance to make a first impression.
When you launch a new product, you’d better make sure that impression is a total knock-out!
If you have a new product in the works, that means you need a watertight strategy for a successful product launch. Read on for a detailed, practical product launch guide to pulling that off with panache.
In our product launch guide, we’ll cover these 5 product launch steps:
- Developing Your Product
- Planning Your Launch
- The Pre-launch Phase
- The Big Reveal
- The Aftermath
Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin with our product launch guide.
Step One: Developing Your Product
Okay, you could write a whole book on how to develop a great product; and, if you’re already thinking about your launch, you’ve probably made significant headway on this already. That said, there are some key issues that you need to look at during the development stage that relates to the product launch process; and, are an essential part of the product launch guide.
First of all, think about how you’re going to pitch this to potential buyers. For example, don’t focus on what the product does – the cool features and so on – focus on what problem it solves. Why do people need this thing in their lives? What will it help them to do?
Check out the competition, create detailed buyer personas, and figure out how you’re going to differentiate yourself from whatever else is out there.
Lastly, make sure your product really is as great as you’re planning to say it is. A good way to measure whether you’re ready to launch it is to write a mock press release announcing its arrival on the market and what it does. What kind of promises do you need to make in order to create a serious splash? Does your product genuinely live up to these things (yet)?
Step Two: Planning Your Launch
Confident you have a killer product and know how to market it? Great. It’s time to put together your team; figure out how you’re going to tell your story, put together a timetable for delivery and plan your launch sequence; as in, the string of actions that will make up your product launch.
Be super specific about who is responsible for what, and about exactly what tasks need to be completed, by when and by whom. You will need a really detailed calendar or task list, so consider using a team collaboration or project management tool to keep on top of your progress.
Another important thing to bear in mind at this stage is whether your company is equipped to handle the pressure if your product seriously takes off. For example, if you suddenly get 10,000 orders in your first month, how would you handle it? Without a clear plan for how you’ll scale to demand, you could become a victim of your own success.
Step Three: The Pre-launch Phase
You’re almost ready to launch – but not quite! The pre-launch stage is absolutely essential.
At this point, you should be; beefing up your email list, creating all the copy and content you’ll use to market the product, building hype and excitement by dropping breadcrumbs about what’s soon to come through social media, forging relationships with influencers in your field and getting your army of product evangelists; as in, the people who will speed up traction by spreading word about your amazing product – ready to roll.
Step Four: The Big Reveal
Now, and only now, you’re ready to launch. Your product is your baby, and much like an actual baby, bringing it into the world takes months and months of development, followed by a big, exhausting push that’s all over comparatively quickly.
This is when you release all your carefully-honed material into the world, from your email blasts to your social media campaigns. This needs to feel like an event: an intense burst of activity that encourages people to buy from you now.
Step Five: The Aftermath
The product launch is not the end of the story, though! As soon as your initial launch is over, be that a few days, a week, or however long you allowed for your launch window, you need to start reviewing and analyzing.
Figure out what worked, what didn’t, which messages hit home, which channels had the most impact. This is crucial for improving future launches, of course; but it’s also really important to help you keep up momentum, adapt your marketing approach, and win back customers that weren’t quite swayed by the initial launch.
If you did plenty of groundwork earlier on in building up your email list, you might not be able to make a new first impression; but you can keep developing your customer relationships over time, investing in the long-term success of your product.
… And that’s it! Your foolproof, perfect step-by-step product launch guide.
While there’s no magic formula that guarantees your product will take the world by storm; this combination of targeted development, careful planning, hype-building, effort-focussing and analyzing your efforts puts you in the best possible position for success.
If you’re looking for more advice on business growth check out our section on the matter.