New products converge on the market every day. But while statistics suggest that an average of 30,000 new products launch annually, successfully introducing one to your customers can be tough.
Whether you’re presenting a brand-new service, debuting a product feature, or refreshing your merchandise lineup, these 5 tips for doing it right will help ensure your product launch generates the outcomes you’re after.
Tip #1: Assemble the right product team
Bringing something new to existing or prospective clients starts with choosing the right product team.
While small, collaborative, cross-functional groups work best, ideally your team will also have:
- A good understanding of your customers’ needs
- Knowledge of the product development process
- Experience creating an exceptional product or service
Once assembled, be sure to sit down with your team members and discuss exactly you want to achieve by introducing your product.
Tip #2: Define the problem your product will solve
According to Harvard Business School marketing professor, Theodore Levitt, people don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill—they want a quarter-inch hole.
To launch your product successfully, in other words, it’s essential that you and your team:
- Understand (and document) the problem your product is intended to solve
- Focus on user outcomes, rather than product outputs (like nice-to-have but unnecessary features, for example)
- Create a product roadmap that’s based on delivering solutions
You should also aim to streamline your progress by keeping sales, operations, and marketing on the same page and in touch with your product’s ultimate purpose—serving the people who use it.
Tip #3: Know who your product is for
Creating a marketing persona will help you avoid wasting valuable resources promoting your product or service to the wrong audience.
To better understand who your offering is for, start by:
- Researching the type of people most likely to experience the challenge it solves
- Getting familiar with the topics they care about and the language they use
- Finding out which marketing channels will help them hear about your product or service
Once you know who your prospective buyers are, you can generate more leads by guiding their journey directly to your product or website. This could include promoting reviews from trusted sources, investing in product ads, or publishing call-to-action marketing content.
Tip #4: Set and measure clear product goals
Before launching your product, it’s important to get clear on your marketing goals and know which metrics you’ll use to measure its success.
- Achievable in the short term
- Relevant to your product, and
Using analytics to track your performance, meanwhile, supports smarter decisions about your new product, including where making changes might help it become a best-seller.
Tip #5: Test and re-test your product
Using the launch process to thoroughly test your new product is a great way to tweak it so it appeals to as many buyers as possible.
Two common testing methodologies include:
- Beta testing. By releasing a non-finalized (beta) version of your product or service to a small or select group of users, you can assess things like feature functionality and overall ease-of-use
- A/B testing. By releasing two different versions of your product or service at the same time, you can evaluate which one is preferred by more users
Testing and re-testing your product will help you avoid wasting time on unpopular features, over-spending on customer support, and discovering too late that your offering won’t hold up against your competitors.
Once you’ve done the work required to launch, make sure you capitalize on those efforts by using the feedback you gather for continuous product improvement. Like most things business-related, you’ll enjoy greater success if you listen to your customers, stay tuned to trends, and remain flexible around the products you offer.