Launch a New Product

How to Launch a New Product - Product Launch Strategy

Learn How to Launch a New Product in the Market Today and the New Product Launch Strategy that you can Adapt for a Successful Product Launch for your Business.

Are you planning to launch a new product? Congratulations! Product launching is always one of the biggest steps towards growing a business, particularly for manufacturers. But before you launch your product, make sure you have a proper product launching plan. Without a robust product launch strategy, it will be more like a tree falling in the woods – nobody would know it.  

Launch a New Product

What is Product Launch and Product Launch Strategy?

 

A product launch is when a company or a brand introduces a new product, either in their existing lineup or as a standalone offering to the customers. Offering a new update to any existing product is also considered as launching a new product. Essentially, all the following types are considered a new product launch.

  • New value creation: When you create and launch a new product, you add value to the system or your entire product lineup.
  • Maintenance or support of an existing product: An ideal example of such a product launch would be a software update. For smartphones, a new software update enhances the phone’s capability, add new features, and offers maintenance. Apple’s iOS 15 was a new product that was used to enhance, improve, and maintain their mobile devices (existing and new).
  • Investment in an internal capability: Inducting a new system to boost your production capacity or research and development is also considered a type of product launch.

When you are planning to launch a new product, it’s crucial you have a product marketing strategy. This strategy helps you reach out to your existing consumer base and also draw new customers.

 

 Why is it Important to have a Product Launch Strategy?

Without a proper product launch strategy, it becomes difficult for a brand to get traction. The essence of a product launch strategy is to identify the right time and right market for the product. Not only it eliminates arbitrary marketing campaigns, but also helps to pin-point the target, ensuring good sales.

When you launch a new product, make sure you adopt or curate the right product marketing strategy. When it comes to product launch strategy, they can be bespoke. A strategy that works for FMCG goods may not work for electronics.

 

Types of Product Launch

We have already discussed the various types of products that one can launch. Now, let us talk about the types of product launches and what makes them different from each other.

 

Soft Product Launch

You soft launch a product for a limited target audience spread across a specific area. A soft launch is done to check the performance of the product and eliminate the issues in the nascent stages by making the required changes. It is more popularly known as Beta Launch, which is essentially a test launch of the product to get users’ feedback.

 

Hard Product Launch

Hard product launch is the conventional product launch that is done by hosting a grand event before the media. A hard launch also acts as a marketing tool for bigger brands. Apple always sets the best example of hard product launches – be it iPhone, MacBook, or iPad. In the last few years, apple product launch events have created such hype that customers and media houses across the world wait for it all year long.

 

Steps to Help You Plan a New Product Launch Strategy

To know more about the product launch strategy in detail before you launch a new product, you need to understand some of the basics. The key pointers in your strategy checklist are as follows. –

 

Define your launch goals

First thing’s first, define what story you are going to sell. No matter what the product is, it’s the story that sells. Addressing the launch goals means placing the product in the right place in consumers’ life; telling them how it would affect their daily lives. For example, when iPhone was first introduced, Steve Jobs focused more on the practical aspects of the device rather than the technicalities. In a market crowded with similar types of products, with little to no changes in their features, it’s crucial to have an accurate product marketing strategy and a compelling story.

 

Conduct consumer research

Before you launch a new product, find out if people are interested in it, whether you have a market for it. Start by looking at the market data and compare and combine with your own business data. Arrange talks with your customers – more customer interaction means more accurate data. They will give you the best insight. Proposing testing also enhances customer interaction, allowing them to think about your product.

  • It helps you understand consumer needs
  • It allows you to learn consumer language and behavior
  • It helps you understand customers’ pain points
Conduct consumer research

Research the competition –

Market analysis is crucial to identify competitors and know about their strengths and weaknesses. It allows you to accurately evaluate your product, decide the price, and also create the best supply chain.

 

Pay attention to internal communication –

Establishing effective internal communication is key to any product launch strategy. When you learn more about the existing competitors and market demands and combine all these data with your product analysis, you can identify and address key improvements. Therefore, you need to have a clear communication channel with internal teams and departments before your launch a new product.

 

Create advertising and marketing plan –

Spread the word way before you launch a new product. If you notice, big brands always have people talking about their products – both existing ones and the ones that are ‘rumored’ to be launched. Creating the hype before the product launch is why one needs a creative and convincing advertising and marketing plan. There are two most effective ways of doing it –

  • Invite influencers and bloggers to talk about your product
  • Conduct a grand product launch event that doubles as a media release

 

Steps to a Perfect New Product Launch

Once you ensure that you have followed all the mentioned steps (as discussed above) to create a robust strategy before you launch a new product, you can expect to achieve the followings –

  • Your product/ brand will meet users’ needs
  • You will have better knowledge of your competitor/competition
  • You can make a prototype of your product and launch it for Beta testing
  • You can reconfigure your product after gaining first-hand insight from your Beta testers
  • Build anticipation by pre-marketing (part of an effective ad campaign)
  • You can encourage word of mouth (WOM)
  • Build a solid supply chain
  • Reach out to the press post-launch
  • Put the focus on the people
  • Take pre-orders like other brands

 

How to Launch a Product Online

It’s not always possible to launch a new product through grandiose events with an auditorium full of journalists and media house representatives. With the recent change in approach to global product launch events, many brands are going online.

Apple hosted its first Fall Launch event online in October 2020. Following their steps, OnePlus and other big mobile phone brands also adopted the online launch events. The marketing strategy for new product launching online is a bit different than the conventional offline launch events.

To design a successful online product launching plan, you need to take the following steps –

  • Figure out the story you want to tell regarding your product's bigger purpose
  • Display customer testimonials, case studies, and other social evidence to positively frame your new product
  • Display comparison data from Beta testing to show performance improvement
  • Create a social and email campaign
  • Have a pre-order option             

All the steps we have mentioned are intertwined to create the most effective new product flaunching plan before you launch a new product.

 

Different Marketing Strategy to Consider for your New Product Launch

Once you plan to launch a new product, make a strategy of how you want things to go. Bear in mind, when it comes to new product development strategies, there is no one shoe fits all. To help you chalk out the product launch strategy, here are some pointers that you can note on your checklist.

  • Marketing the product to internal and external customers – Create a marketing strategy that appeals to both the external customers (those who use your product and recognize the brand) and internal customers (those who interact with the brand; Beta testers).
  • Use of social networks as a marketing tool – Social media are one of the most effective marketing platforms, and the best we to use them is by getting influencers and opinion leaders on board.
  • Marketing using printed material – Using print media for marketing has been a conventional way of spreading the word. You can also produce a written statement that can clearly and concisely answer these three vital questions:

 

  • Who is the product for?
  • What does the product do?
  • Why is it different from other products?

 

Answering these questions positions your product before your internal marketing team. A product launching plan should also include the following steps to create a 360-degree marketing channel.

  • SMS actions
  • Email marketing
  • Marketing events
  • Invest in video marketing

 

Theory of Product Launch and Promotion

To delve deeper into the marketing strategy, let us discuss some business theories. Before we mention any of those theories, we want to reiterate that there is no strict unified theory for businesses to follow. Several financial and marketing theories create the strategy that a business employs for a new product launch.

 

 Marketing Theory 

Before you launch a new product, you must choose whether to invest in traditional advertising or other forms of promotion, including email and fliers. Buying media space on television and radio networks is another delivery method for promoting a launch. You can also choose to onboard influencers to create the social media hype as a part of your new product launching strategy.

 

Profitability Curve 

A profitability curve is a graph that shows how a specific product produces a profit or loss over the course of its life. Such information is important to financial leaders at a business to decide budget costs and pricing, even during a product launch. The profitability curve can also reveal how much the business can afford to spend on promotion and marketing.

 

 Diffusion of Innovation

To shape a product launch, you need to know the customer and the market sentiment towards your product, and the diffusion of innovation theory helps you understand it.

Some customers are early buyers. They will buy the product the moment it is made available. Some will pre-order it. Some consumers are more likely to purchase a new product after some time. They wait for the first set of user reviews to come out. These types of consumers are late adopters. The diffusion of innovation theory allows a business to determine its target market and project sales figures based on who will buy a product and when.

 

Pricing Theory

Getting the pricing right before businesses launch a new product can make all the difference. Pricing a product should always be done keeping in view the market, competitors, consumer interaction with the product, and of course, the product category. For example, if you are launching a daily use product, then the customers should be able to afford it. The basic economic theories of supply and demand state that a higher price will drive down customer demand, while a lower price will raise demand. There is one exception – luxury items. For luxury items, lower pricing can often cause consumer deterrence.

 

 Examples of Successful Product Launches

Apple iPhone 12 launch in 2020 was one of the most successful launch events from Apple after its iPhone 6 launch back in 2014. Within a month from the launch, more than 100 million pieces of iPhone 12 were sold globally. What worked for Apple? Well, they launched a fresh product to their existing lineup of iPhones. It arrived with a fresh design, new features, and included 5G technology.

From the marketing perspective, Apple’s brand value always keeps its products on the news, particularly on social media pages. Opinion leaders sharing their thoughts and speculation revolving Apple products is the main reason for the hype.

 Examples of Successful Product Launches

The launch of Vivo V19 is a success story. The marketing team at Vivo faced a big hurdle while launching their V19 during the pandemic. With the grandiose launch events being out of the question, they prepared to launch their V19 smartphone through AR – Augmented Reality.

Their target consumers were the Indian consumers between the ages of 18 and 35. The company invited prospects to experience a “virtual unboxing” of the phone, and they even ran a contest based around the hashtag #vivo19outofthebox.

 

Conclusion

Product launch event is extremely important for businesses. Depending on the launch event and the product launch strategy, businesses can scale the product. If anything goes wrong, and the product fails to gain traction in the market, it can reflect adversely on the company’s balance sheet.

 

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FAQs

  • There is no specific timing for product launch. You can launch it as soon as it is ready.

  • A product launch can fail for many reasons. A product launch strategy is a combination of business theories and ideas. If one or a few of them fail, it can jeopardize the entire product launch. There is only one way to recover from a failed product launch – identify what went wrong, and try to rectify it at the earliest.

  • The packaging of a product should be simple yet adequate to protect the shipment. The pricing may depend on the product category, type, and market.

  • The best way to attract customers for a product launch is through customer interaction. You can organize parties, concerts, quizzes, or hire influencers to talk about your product before the launch.

  • A simple answer to this question would be establishing effective internal communication. The marketing team and the engineering team should collab and sit together to chalk out a roadmap for the product launch.

  • A product portfolio displays the entire range of products of a company.

  • When there is a global crisis like war or pandemic, it is advisable to avoid product launches. The reason being customers may not give your product their attention as there could be more grave things to worry about. Wait for the news to change in a positive direction, and then you can launch a new product.

  • Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Matrix is a four celled matrix (a 2 * 2 matrix) developed by BCG, USA. It is the most renowned corporate portfolio analysis tool. It provides a graphic representation for an organization to examine different businesses in its portfolio on the basis of their related market share and industry growth rates. (source)

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