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Product Launch! Do’s & Don'ts

Updated: Oct 4, 2022

They say you only get one chance to make a first impression. Whether it’s the first day at your new job, meeting your boyfriends/girlfriends parents, or introducing yourself to new people in general, you want to come across as personable, likeable, gracious, and maybe even somewhat suave!

The same is true for a new product. Yes, it’s possible to recover from a catastrophic launch, but it takes time, money, and it’s quite a feat. It’s much better to start on the right foot and build from the good vibes you bring about from day one … because there’s a lot working against you, even when you launch remarkably well.

Scary? For sure. And bad news… it gets worse:

Approximately 30,000 new products are launched annually, and roughly 95% of those fail. 99% of tech start-ups fail within a year. Somewhere between 80-85% of new consumer-packaged goods (CPG) fail each year. So even at the “low” end, you’re facing a disappointing possibility of an 80% fail rate.

These discouraging percentages are not to deter you from bringing your idea to life and launching your product. But it’s good to be armed with what you’re up against, and to be prepared.

“The biggest problem we’ve encountered is lack of preparation: Companies are so focused on designing and manufacturing new products that they postpone the hard work of getting ready to market them until too late in the game.” ~Joan Schneider, CEO at Schneider Associates

Do everything you need to do for your product before you launch, and then you can focus on bringing attention and building momentum after you launch. There’s nothing like catching up or making attempts to repair mistakes, that can take attention off your bright new product.

Step 1: Mind the Gap

Fill the need. Make sure your product fills a hole in the market or fixes a hassle for your customers. How does yours stack up? Perform or outsource some market research.

Look at the comparable products already out there. Why would someone choose yours over those? What’s it's USP (Unique Selling Proposition?)

The best way to test your product idea is to talk to people. Real people. Your target market. Create a quick and easy email or social media survey. What are people looking for, what features do existing products lack, what could they live without, what might they be willing to pay more for? Gather and evaluate that data.

Talk to friends, family, colleagues. If demand and interest is there, it’s time to push on the gas and go for it!

Step 2: Competitive Pricing

If your product meets a need as discussed in step 1, it’s time to price. Smart pricing is not something you should try to do quickly.

There’s a lot to consider:

  • How much do similar products cost

  • How much will it cost you to manufacture your product

  • What are your overhead expenses

Your price needs to be competitive, but you also need to make enough profit with each sale to stay in business. It’s a fine line. Don’t be afraid to attach an appropriate price to your product or service. Your price should reflect what the product or service is worth, and not just what you think people might pay. Beyond covering costs, think about how you’re contributing to the betterment of people's lives.

What are the benefits of your product or service that you can’t eat or moisture your face with? For instance, do you help people sleep better at night because they aren’t worried anymore thanks to your solution?

There are many pricing strategies out there:

  • Keystone Pricing = simply doubling the wholesale cost you paid for a product.

  • Psychological Pricing (also known as charm pricing) = ending your prices with .95 or .99 for the perceived value. $99.95 feels cheaper than $100.

  • Premium Pricing – intentionally pricing at round numbers to give the illusion of luxury and status. Also known as prestige pricing.

Then, of course, you can test with discounts, fragmented pricing (cost per month versus charge per year), bundling, and more. Are you aiming for the frugal consumers– the place you undercut different merchandise – or the luxurious crowd- where you charge a little greater due to the fact you’re supplying a “premium” product (just make certain you can supply what you’re promising).

And don’t neglect that rate isn't a set-it-and-forget-it task. A vital aspect of selling products is monitoring competitor pricing.

You have probably noticed that costs on Amazon can go up or down a couple of times a day? Ditto with Walmart and Target.

If, after promoting for a while, you decide the cutting-edge fee is leaving you short, you can both expand your price, reduce your costs, or extend your volume. Think cautiously before you decide.

Step 3: The Right Crowd

Ask yourself: who is my perfect customer?

You want your new product to meet the needs of these target people. A terrific product with the incorrect goal will fail. Guaranteed.

In fact, new startups usually fail because there’s:

  1. No market demand

  2. Running out of funds.

And why do groups and manufacturers run out of money? Because they’re losing time, money, and effort on the incorrect people. Target others who would really gain from your product, and many will purchase it. Target the incorrect folks, and you’ll be overlooked after throwing your money in the wrong direction.

Ask questions. Go searching for answers. Send Emails. Send follow-up emails. Find out what your customers are looking for then gear your product in that direction.

Step 4: Make a (Marketing) Plan

A few things to remember:

  • Make sure your product messaging makes the benefits appealingly obvious to the user.

  • Never exaggerate or promise what you can’t deliver.

  • Where will you reach out and connect with your target? Mobile app?

  • Answer the “relevancy question” early in your marketing: why should your target care?

  • Educate your customers and leads on your product, its benefits, its USP, its advantage over the competition, and more.

  • A better product than your competition + a better marketing plan = a more successful business.

Step 5: Can You Handle It?

Plan for a possible launch flop, yes, but don’t forget to plan for success, too!

If the product takes off, if it resonates with your goal market, if it exceeds your wildest hopes and dreams, are you prepared to step up and meet that demand?

You have to be. Nothing can derail a new product quicker than shipping delays and out-of-stock notices.

Those problems will quickly irritate customers and will generate a huge amount of word-of-mouth buzz and kill your momentum. Before you launch, put systems and plans in place, so you can turn it up and meet the demand you're hoping for. Launch earlier than you’re ready, and you’re sunk in the water.

Step 6: Gather Feedback

Have a plan to connect with every customer on some level: email, social media, a phone call, instant messaging, and more.

Ask them questions on everything from marketing and the product itself, to pricing and value-added services. Ask them how you can improve your service. Ask them how you could improve your product once they’ve had a chance to use it for a while. Ask. Analyse. Listen. Then make those suggested improvements.

Look at good product launches for inspiration. Learn from bad ones and avoid their mistakes. Do your homework.

Launch that product the right way:

  • In the right place

  • At the right price

  • At the right time

  • Think success, and go for it!

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If you would like to sell one of these products, their experienced experts can help you through the whole process of creating your product brand, packaging, marketing, and launching! Your product success is their #1 concern!

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