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What to Know About New Product Launches

With any product, there will always be early adopters – and these customers are often the most vocal.

By ·
By ·

Editor’s Note: Mark Dohnalek is President & CEO of Pivot International, the Kansas-based global product development, engineering & manufacturing firm.

You have completed every step in the global supply chain and your product has come to life! Whether it took decades or only a few short months to move from idea to engineering to sourcing to development—it is a time of anticipation and excitement, and potential profits. Next is the process of introduction through a successful launch which will drive interest and generate sales. Below are key Do’s & Don’ts for a new product introduction and successful roll-out:

Do have a positive message that clearly states what it is, what it does, and why it matters

What pain-point does your product solve or what happiness, convenience, savings will it bring? Know these answers and here’s why. When launching a brand-new product, your goal is to grab people’s attention for a few seconds that will have them wanting to learn more. Exhaustive lists of features are not the way to do this. Once you’ve got this messaging together, share it widely within your company so that everyone is on the same page. As you move further along in the pre-launch phase, you can refine and adjust the messaging as you receive input from colleagues, potential customers, and others.

Don’t launch unless you have inventory ready to ship and a growth production plan in place.

Product failures aren’t always due to lack of interest but because of more interest and sales than the company can manage. For independent inventors and small product-development companies, this is a serious consideration as scaling up can be a complex process. For example, if you’re manufacturing your product in a low-volume facility, you may have to switch manufacturers causing oversight concerns for your team. Be prepared for every potential growth scenario to protect the integrity of your brand and the positive welcome of the new product.

Don’t launch until it is 100% completed and ready for sale.

While having a determined launch date is important to meet marketing and distribution deadlines – having a delay is better than releasing an imperfect product. Always have extra time built into your planning timetable to cover any what-if scenarios from product use to packaging design flaws even aesthetic issues like color changes. And most importantly, have enough time to test the product and re-test it with modifications before you release it to the world. The same process should be followed when you introduce an improved version or expanded features.

Do listen to your customers early and often.

With any product, there will always be early adopters – and these customers are often the most vocal. Listen to them wherever they communicate whether on company voicemail or website, social media, online reviews or in-person feedback at retail locations. Then respond by adapting or improving your product to their suggestions. If a feature isn’t turning out to be useful, then consider changing or scrapping it. If they want more options, look into what it would cost to offer them.

Your product launch is only the first step but keeping customers satisfied and loyal by being receptive and responsive will be part of every future step in your success.


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From the September-October 2017
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