Product launch with a guarantee of success?

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Product launch is something that big companies do on a regular basis. But not every product is a huge success. According to the Marketing Research Association, only 40% of developed products reach the market. And of these 40%s, only 60% will generate any income at all. What to do to successfully launch a product on the market? Read in the article. 

Launching the product on the market it is a tremendously exciting and risky venture. Apple has become a legend in this respect. On the day of its release, the iPad sold over 300,000 copies. In three days, the iPhone 4 sold 1.7 million units, and on the weekend of the iPhone 3G launch, it also surpassed a million. Apparently Steve Jobs knew how to do a product launch to get maximum salesand his successors did their homework well. 

The success in this case is also based on Apple's reputation and the loyal followers of the brand. All of this, of course, plays a major role in the success of the premiere of these products. Nevertheless, there are a number of strategies that virtually any company can use to bring their own product to market and be successful. Let's take a closer look at it. 

Product launch - definition

A product launch is a planned attempt to introduce a new product to the market. The entire process includes various steps. They make up him understanding customer needs, product design, product testing, marketing and advertising, and making sure the product reaches all audiences. Successful launching the product on the market provides the company with the expected sales dynamics.  

Product launch

Products are marketed on a different scale. Some of them without much publicity. In the case of a niche product or where minor changes have been made to the product, launch usually takes place without huge marketing expenses. The situation is different when the launch of the product means striving to introduce the product on a full scale. If the whole world is to know about him, or at least target markets, it takes a lot of time and energy to do this.

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Giving customers a chance to buy a new product is just one of the main goals of product launch. The definition of this English term is nothing more than introducing a new product to the market in order to build enthusiasm around it, as well as awareness of its existence. It concerns the totality of the company's planned and coordinated efforts that make the product available for sale.

The whole process includes appropriate planning that will allow you to efficiently introduce the product in such a way that it will be successful and ensure you profit from sales. What else is characterized by the launch of the product? The definition indicates the development of a good product because it is intended to appeal to consumers and satisfy their needs. It's also important to understand that this is a key step in your product development plan. To be successful - you need to develop not only an implementation plan, but also an overall strategy. To this end, the activities of the sales team, customer service, marketing, logistics and, of course, managers of various degrees should be coordinated. Each team at its own level builds expectation, interest and product recognition.

How to launch an online product?

Social media plays an integral role in helping consumers discover new products and brands. Research shows that 92% users took some action after viewing a product or service on Instagram. What exactly? They decided on product purchase online, visiting the brand's website or following the brand on social media. Targeted advertising on social media is another way to reach your desired audience and get them to buy your product or engage with your brand. According to The CMO Survey 48%, internet users say they bought something after seeing this type of ad. 

Product launch plus online marketing it's a well-matched pair. A website dedicated to a new product or a subpage of an existing website is where consumers can find out more about it.

Consumer confidence

The website also builds consumer confidence, which can encourage them to place an order. It is an excellent platform for showing a demo video or displaying visual elements, such as a countdown timer for the day when the product will be available on the market. You can also use the website as a place to go collecting information about customerswho are interested in the new product. Most consumers are willing to share their personal information with brands if they get something in return, such as a discount on their first purchase.

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Having a database of potential customers' e-mail addresses, it is worth sending them a message. Especially since more than half of consumers check their personal e-mails more than 10 times a day! They claim that they like to receive messages from brands in this way. The first of the e-mails should indicate a new product. In the next one, it's worth giving details about the release date. Once the product launch is launched, an email with a "buy now" call, product photos and a call to action to facilitate your shopping experience is the final step to finalizing your sale. Extra incentive? Add a sense of urgency by offering discounts or limited time deals. 

How to prepare a company for a product launch?

There is always a risk involved in introducing a new product or service to the market. Launching a new product requires a well-thought-out and properly developed strategy. Just having a brilliant product or service is not enough. It still needs to be skillfully promoted and sold to the right people at the right time.

Each launch must be preceded by an in-depth market analysis. Before you launch a new product, you need to check if there are any substitutes on the market. Check how strong your competition is and where there are any niches that can be filled. Think about your goal - eliminating competition, increasing market share, filling a niche, etc. Also define market barriers. Knowing what you want and what you will have to deal with, you will be able to estimate the amount of resources needed to achieve your goals.

How to position the product?

To properly position your product on the market, you need to gain knowledge about your potential customers. It is their needs, preferences, problems to be solved and the possibilities at their disposal that will help your company create a tailor-made offer. An indispensable element of the promotion strategy and communication with the market is to identify target groups. There may be several of them, but it is important to propose an individual value to each of them, using perfectly matched tools.

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Having a specific goal, precisely defined target groups and an original idea how to effectively reach them, we are already one step away from success. However, even the best plans will not help much if they are not skilfully implemented and realized.

Product launch - how to develop a marketing plan? Useful tips

First, think about what exactly you intend to introduce to the market and what makes your offer unique. Don't copy your competition, but create value that will fill a gap in the market. Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your offer as well as the opportunities and threats posed by the presence on a given market. Set goals you plan to achieve - specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timed. They can concern both the market share, the size of the planned profit, the value of sales, as well as the increase in brand awareness and recognition.

Think about what resources you need to accumulate and what resources you need to invest to achieve these goals. Identify and characterize your first customers. Think about what group of people will be interested in your new offer first. Find out how to reach opinion leaders in the most effective way. Create person models, that is, accurately describe the "ideal customers" - who are they, what they like, how they spend their time, what do they pay attention to, what are their preferences, needs and problems?

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Designate places and channels to reach potential customers. Be where they are and communicate in their language. Consider how to optimize the marketing process? Prepare a schedule for the implementation of specific online and offline activities and accurately estimate the related costs. Give up activities that may turn out to be ineffective at this stage of the product's presence on the market. Consider how you will evaluate the effects of your actions. Determine the effect you are aiming for and the factors that will help you check the effectiveness of individual solutions. Thanks to this, you will be able to flexibly react to various types of market signals.

Product launch - strategies 

The first thing to verify is time. Has the company invested enough time in implementing the product launch plan, and are everyone aware of these deadlines? Better to delay product launch and make sure everything and everyone involved in launching this machine is ready to go. Everyone, i.e. from the team in the production hall, which needs to know the secrets of the product, to the financial team, which needs to understand the costs and expected revenues. Testing is extremely important in introducing this product to the market. If you are about to launch the product, answer the following questions: 

- How much time did the company spend on testing and with what methods?  

- Is there a sufficient budget to achieve the required results?  

- Based on the feedback from the tests, how long will it take to make the necessary changes?  

- Does the marketing message correspond with what is expected target group?  

Before placing the product on the market

Before a product goes to market, what is ultimately all about is whether the product that you and your team think is great is the same for consumers. First, make sure it's accepted communication strategy is appropriate in the context of the content and to whom the messages are addressed. The more targeted communication plan and the simpler it is to use, the greater the chance that it will reach customers and co-workers.

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Reasons for product launch failure 

If there were one definite reason why a product would fail to market, there would be no case studies that could be analyzed, such as the Google Glasses. There are many reasons for a failure to launch a product. Perhaps the company made an attempt to meet a need that did not exist yet? Or maybe the brand did not make the market aware of the need it would satisfy innovative product? Maybe it was just an ill-considered idea or a poor interpretation of market and consumer trends.

Another factor may be a poorly calculated product price. It is also important timing. When a competitor enters the market at the same time with a better product or introduces it more skillfully, the consequences are easy to predict. However, a common and most frequent problem is simply a lack of preparation. Companies put effort into product development, believing that "if it is good, the customers will come." Without actually planning any activities a few months before the premiere, it is difficult to expect that the product launch will turn out to be a spectacular success.  

Product launch step by step

Let's summarize how the product launch should proceed step by step.

The key to success is a well-thought-out strategy that takes into account such elements as:

  • characteristics of the target group,
  • features of competition and the market environment,
  • pricing policy,
  • distribution and logistics method,
  • a form of measuring the effects.

Before we start creating a detailed plan for introducing a product to the market, we should define a team that will watch over the meticulous implementation of subsequent tasks. It is worth appointing a person in charge (the most important person responsible for the launch of the product, who will supervise individual steps), an approving person (the one who will check the plan for correctness and approve it), co-authors (experienced people who have already carried out the product launch), informed persons (those that the team will report on the progress of activities, but will not actively participate in the process). Assignment of tasks is the key to the smooth and trouble-free implementation of the plan.

An important element of the strategy is the detailed definition and analysis of recipients indicating their preferences, expectations, etc. The target group cannot be too narrow (risk of generating low profits) or too wide (risk that the brand will not be able to meet the expectations of all clients). It's worth using the rules marketing segmentationthat will help you reach the right people. Knowledge about current and potential customers will enable the selection of appropriate marketing forms, distribution channels and the language of communication with recipients. Thus, it will increase the chance that the launch will be a spectacular success.

Product launch

The next important stage is detailed market research that will determine the company's situation, its opportunities and threats, as well as strengths and weaknesses (the so-called SWOT analysis). Knowing the market is a recipe for success. Thanks to it, the entrepreneur can set the path of the company's development and estimate the demand for the introduced product. The analysis of the competition is of great importance, thanks to which it is possible to find unique features, brand or product attributes that will distinguish the company (and its product) from the competition.

The strategy should include indicators of success, that is, elements that will be used to monitor progress. The indicators should relate to the specific goals that we set ourselves at the beginning - e.g. whether we managed to reach a specific group of customers or whether the sales of the product went as we assumed (percentage share on the market).

Other elements that should be included in the product-to-market plan are:

  • sales strategy, i.e. distribution channels and detailed activities related to introducing the product to the market,
  • product promotion and communication strategy,
  • legal regulations related to the process of introducing a product to the market.

Product launch on an example

What would a product launch look like in practice? For example, let's take a clothing company offering sports clothes that wants to introduce seamless leggings for women into its offer. The first step is to select and analyze the target audience. Marketing segmentation may be helpful - defining a narrow group of people who need the most important product.

Consumer profiling

At this point, the profile of an ideal consumer should be outlined, taking into account her features, desires, preferences, etc. The target group of our brand will be physically active women aged 16-35 who value comfort during training. It is important for them that the exercise outfit does not restrict movement during exercise, and at the same time perfectly emphasizes the figure (perfectly matched cut to various types of figures), does not show through and provides the skin with adequate ventilation.

At this stage, you should also choose a communication strategy - that is, define the language we will use, the communication channels we will use, etc. In the case of our brand, whose target group are young women, communication via social media - mainly Instagram - works best.

The next step is to research the market - what is the current position of the company on the market, etc. It is especially important to determine whether there are women aged 16-35 among the customers of our brand. If so, our task is a bit easier - it will be easier to reach the target group we are interested in. If, on the other hand, our existing customers do not belong to a specific target group, you should think about how to reach new customers. The aforementioned target group analysis will be helpful at this point.

Competition analysis - clothing industry

A clothing company that wants to launch a new model of leggings on the market should analyze the competition in detail. Nowadays, it's hard to come up with something that has not been put on sale before. Product launch is a difficult art. The key here is meticulous competition research - what is the product offered by another company, how is it promoted, what makes people want to buy it.

An important step is to find unique features that will allow a given brand to stand out from the competition. Our brand offers two differentiators:

  • different length of leggings adjusted to the height of customers - each size of leggings can be purchased in two versions - lengths for shorter and taller girls,
  • the use of technology that allows the skin to breathe during training - thanks to this, the skin does not sweat so much and the exercises are comfortable.

An effective sales strategy based on online marketing tools

Innovative solutions that are absent from competition should be included in competitive strategy. Such action will increase the chances of success.

Another important stage of introducing a product to the market is the SWOT analysis, determining the strengths and weaknesses of the brand / product as well as opportunities and threats from the environment. In the presented example, the strengths are the length of the leggings and the "breathable" material, the weakness is being second in the sportswear industry (another company is the leader), the threat - the risk that the product will not be successful, will be overshadowed by a competing brand, and an opportunity - growing popularity of a healthy, active life, and thus an increase in the demand for good-quality sports clothes.

The last step is to develop a marketing strategy. At this point, you should focus on the advantages and benefits of the product as well as on the expectations and needs of customers. The choice of the form of promotion, price determination, and the choice of communication and distribution channels should suit the target group and the specifics of the market.

How to maintain interest in a new product - product life cycle

Each product has its own life cycle - goods are created, they conquer the market, they live and, in the end, they often die a natural death. Launching a product is just the beginning. Knowledge of the individual phases of a product's life plays a huge role in managing the company's development, influences decision-making processes, and allows you to maintain a stable position on the market.

We can distinguish 6 phases of a product's life:

  1. Formation phase. First, an idea is born, then the creator implements the idea. At this stage, the product design is prepared and tested. The first phase consumes a lot of time and capital.
  2. Introduction phase. So entering the market with the product. Launching the product on the market this is the most difficult stage - it requires large financial outlays, is associated with the risk of a failed investment and uncertainty whether the product will be accepted. The aim of the launch phase is to build awareness of the product among customers and gain acceptance in the market.
  3. Growth phase. It is an increase in sales (usually it has a high pace), and at the same time a reduction in promotional expenses - because the product becomes recognizable, the company begins to generate profits. The goal is to gain maximum market share and build customer loyalty. In the growth phase, the key role is played by the selection of appropriate distribution, price and promotion strategies.
  4. The maturity phase. In this phase, sales climax and profits stabilize. First, the company achieves high profits, which then begin to decline. The main goal in this phase is to maintain the acquired position and defend the market share. The maturity phase involves modifying the product in such a way as to meet the changing expectations of customers - introducing new features, improving quality, changing the style, etc. The distribution strategy is also of great importance - the product should be available to everyone.
  5. The phase of decline. The company is experiencing a large drop in product sales and a reduction in profits. At this point, the brand may seek to keep the product on the market by modifying its strategy or let it "die" (withdraw the product from the market). A detailed analysis of the situation is of key importance, which will allow to assess the real chances of the company for further development.
  6. The liquidation phase. If there is no interest in the product, it is withdrawn from the market.

The most advantageous solution for a brand that introduces a new product to the market is the short duration of the first two phases and the extended period of the maturity phase. Such a situation will allow you to achieve maximum profits for a long time, and thus make it easier to maintain a stable position on the market. Do you want your product to be talked about? Check how an experienced person can help you with this public relations agency.

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