Launching a new product is exciting, but expecting things to go well without any prior preparation would be naive. The vast majority of product launches aren’t successful—not because of the product, but because the business hasn’t thoroughly considered how to showcase the products’ value to the right customers.
There’s a lot to consider when you’re getting ready to release a new product. The list includes determining who you want to sell to, identifying your competition, and deciding how you will set yourself apart.
Why You Need a Product Launch Checklist
Even when teams identify a need for their product, a lack of preparation can result in unforeseen obstacles and delays. For example, Gartner found in 2019 that 45% of product launches get put off by at least one month.
Meanwhile, research published by Marketing Charts revealed the most important factors separating product launch failure and success. Pre-launch testing, authentic messaging, and data monitoring all contributed to better results:
A pre-launch checklist helps you get the branding right for your product, which makes it easier to target the right people and prevents any disconnect between what customers expect and what they get.
9 Steps to Include in Your Product Launch Checklist
Define the Audience
Before you create a product, you must define your target audience. For most products, there is a focused demographic to advertise to—and it will be clear what the main pain points are that you can solve.
Dig deep when defining your audience. Create detailed buyer personas that consider demographics such as age, gender, job role, daily challenges, and why they should purchase your product.
Identify Your Competition
Regardless of the industry and niche you serve, you’re probably not the first company in that particular area. You will have competitors, many of whom have years of experience and established brand names. You must prepare for your product launch accordingly.
Look at the top companies in your field and note what they do well. Identify their weaknesses and think about where you can fill those gaps. Once you’ve fully understood who you’re competing against, you can spell out your USP—unique selling proposition—to let customers know how and why your product is the best choice.
Develop a Marketing Plan
Once you’ve completed the market research phase and you know who your target customers are and why they need your product, you need to start thinking about how you’ll promote your product. Be sure to consider both organic and paid advertising.
When developing a marketing plan, make sure you answer the following questions:
- Which channels will you advertise your product on?
- How frequently will you market your product?
- How will you measure your success?
You should also set SMART goals:
A robust plan will give your team better guidance when putting together the final strategy for your launch.
Clarify Your Branding
Your product needs to appeal to your target audience, so you must get your branding right. Think about aspects of branding such as the colors you use and the messaging style to align with your brand’s target audience.
Your branding will vary depending on how you want others to perceive you. Brighter colors should prevail if you want customers to see you as playful and approachable, for example. But if you want to appear sophisticated, you might opt for more of a minimalistic theme instead.
Develop the Product’s Pages on Your Company Website
If you want your product to sell, dedicating space on your company’s website is non-negotiable. Create engaging copy that communicates what the product can do for the customer and be sure to include product images, details, and specifications.
Build Your Product’s Online Presence
Did you know that 55% of consumers discover new brands on social media? If your product isn’t being mentioned on social media, you risk going unnoticed by the people you want to purchase your products.
When creating an online presence, consider the social channels your target audience will frequent. Hint: they’re probably on the channels where your company already has profiles. Select the top one or two to start talking about the product and its launch. Once you have the ball rolling, you can expand to other networks if you notice a demand.
Social proof is one of the best ways to convince others to buy your product, and gaining trust is crucial. As part of your pre-launch process, you must gather feedback from happy customers. Consider offering product samples to some of your existing customers in return for their feedback.
You can use your testimonials in your ads to show how potential buyers will benefit from investing their faith in you. Similarly, you can add them to packaging as well.
Have Enough Inventory for Your Demand
Many entrepreneurs worry about not selling enough of their product, but the opposite—having ready sales and no inventory—is also a problem. When you launch your product, you must ensure you have enough supply to meet the demand.
If you sell a digital product, like an online course, this won’t be an issue. But for physical items, ensure your inventory exceeds your sales predictions by at least a small margin—and have a handle on the supply chain to know how long subsequent production may take.
Track Your Results
After completing the above steps and beginning your launch campaign, you’ll need to measure progress. Over the following days and weeks, you’ll receive feedback from your customers—and you’ll know whether you’ve met your sales projections. Be agile and ride the momentum forward, adjusting your sales strategy as needed.
How MarinOne Can Help
Launching a successful product requires a lot of preparation, and getting things right from the beginning will make the whole process much easier and much more likely to succeed. The primary focus areas are to create a product that will meet a customer need, build a solid brand, and make sure the target customer knows about it.
Once you’re ready to advertise, thinking about the channels that’ll maximize your profits is equally important. After each campaign, refine your efforts and adapt your strategy based on what you’ve learned.
MarinOne offers several advertising management tools, including automation and analytics that will make your product launches more successful and help you improve sales as you go. Schedule a demo to learn more.