Launching a new product is an exciting time for any company. Whether it is your first product or an addition to already existing products, it’s impossible not to get caught up in the excitement and anticipation of the moment. But before launching a new product there are certain steps that must be followed.
Apple Computer would not have reached its current peak of success if it had feared to roll the dice and launch products that didn’t always hit the mark. In the mid-1990s, the company was considered washed up, Steve Jobs had departed, and a string of lackluster product launches unrelated to the company’s core business.Naveen Jain
It has been estimated that 70 percent of new product launches fail in the first year. And many of these products are well thought out, innovative, and exciting ideas that should have been a success. So why is it that some product launches succeed while others fail?
In this blog post, we will look at why most product launches fail and five tips for successfully launching a new product.
Why Most Product Launches Fail
Many people create a new product believing that if they build something amazing, the customers will naturally come ready to buy. Obviously, this isn’t true because truly fantastic products fail to gain traction all the time. Here are some of the biggest reasons why most product launches fail:
- You failed to do market research
Many people fail to do proper market research and never identify their target market. Without thorough market research, even the best product launches can fail miserably. This is because you must validate that there is a need for your product before you take it to market.
Who is your target audience? Is there a pathway to sustainable growth? Finding out the answers to these questions could potentially save your launch.
- You didn’t educate your customers
When you are developing a new product you have to allow time to educate people about your product before the launch. This is especially true if you are introducing a revolutionary product that people may not understand.
Don’t just assume that people will understand the value of your product. You may have to explain it to them repeatedly until they can truly grasp it.
- You didn’t spend enough time preparing for your launch
Think of launching a new product as planting seeds; you can’t just plant your seeds and expect fruit the next morning. You have to allow enough time to plant and water your seeds before you can expect to reap the benefits of your labor.
Launching a new product requires the same foresight and planning. This is especially true if you don’t already have an established market. You need to allow enough time to build a relationship with your target audience, inform them about your product and why it will help them, and create a sense of urgency.
- Your marketing efforts were ineffective
Many product launches fail simply because the customer did not understand the message. People must understand why your product is different from the competition, how it will help them, and why they need it now.
5 Tips for Successfully Launching a New Product
No one can ever truly know how their product will be received in the marketplace. Even the most experienced entrepreneurs have had some product launches that were overwhelming successes while others failed miserably.
When you are launching a new product there are certain things you must do before, during, and after your launch. And while nothing will guarantee your launch will be successful, there are certain steps you can take to increase your chances for success.
Here are five tips for successfully launching a new product:
- Research your product
One of the biggest mistakes many entrepreneurs make is that they fall in love with their product and fail to be objective. They research their product and receive feedback but then promptly ignore the feedback they have been given. They love their product the way it is and believe the customer will see it the way they do.
It’s important to take a realistic look at your product before you release it in the marketplace. Ask the hard questions that will help you figure out whether the product is actually ready to be launched. Once you have asked the tough questions, you must listen to the answers, even if they aren’t what you want to hear.
- Research the market
You already know that you have a fantastic, innovative product. Now you need to find out if there is a market for it. This is especially true if you have created a niche product. Does the market even have a place for your new product?
Market research can be time-consuming but will give you valuable information that will guide you during your launch. Market research will help you narrow down your target audience and improve your chances for a successful launch.
- Zero in on a marketing strategy
A successful product launch must have a well thought out marketing strategy. Now that you know who your target audience is you can now develop a plan for how to reach them. Look at the different advertising mediums available to you and figure out which ones will be most effective.
Is your target market on LinkedIn or on Snapchat? Your strategy will vary greatly depending on which one you use. You have to reach the people who will not only be buying your product but also using the sites you are advertising on.
- Think outside of the box
Think back to some of the most memorable marketing campaigns that you have seen. You want to generate that same level of excitement in your own customers. There is no room for boring, generic marketing campaigns anymore. If you really want to catch people’s attention you need to think outside of the box and stand out. People don’t just want to be sold to online, they want to be entertained.
- Continue the momentum and gather feedback
It may sound counterintuitive, but your work does not end once your product launch is over. Now you can continue the conversation with the public about your product and the impact it is making in the marketplace.
Share customer stories about how your product has positively influenced them. Write press releases and keep the public informed through informative blog posts and articles.
Continue to solicit feedback from your customers and welcome the positive as well as the negative feedback. Keep track of the social media channels that were the most successful in converting potential customers.
When you are launching a new product there is no tried and true recipe for success. However, by following the principles outlined above you can dramatically improve your likelihood of success and make the experience more positive overall.
Launching a new product can be exhilarating, nerve-wracking, and draining all at once. The list of things to do seems never-ending and it can be hard to imagine how you will get everything done. Launching a new product will require patience and planning but it can be successfully accomplished, even if this is your very first launch.