Launching a new product is an immense undertaking, and it can be all too easy to forget the critical tasks that drive success. With all the time and effort it took to develop your product, its launch should be an extension of that hard work. If the devil truly is in the details, here are five common product launch mistakes -- and how you can avoid them with ease:
1. Don’t rush your launch plans
Successful product launches don’t happen by chance. They take copious amounts of planning, and you should start months before the launch date. Make sure your product is ready for market, then consider several factors prior to launch: Your timing, messaging, target audiences, and the avenues you use to promote your product are all very important. Furthermore, product launches take communication and alignment across all areas of your business, from marketing to sales to leadership teams. Taking time to address these critical elements beforehand will allow you to focus on selling and promoting once your campaign goes live.
2. Don’t forget to promote your product after launch.
New products are launched every day. Without a promotion campaign for your product, you could be faced with a short media cycle and lack of consumer awareness. Continuing to connect with the media after your initial launch could result in product reviews, interview requests, and long-term relationships with reporters. Use every tool in your strategic arsenal. For example, if an outlet publishes an article about your product, promote the story through social media and whitelist the outlet’s account to generate further engagement.
3. Make sure to establish how you’ll measure success.
If you’ve planned well, you can expect to see an influx of chatter about your product. However, simply keeping a list of news clippings isn’t enough. For a complete picture of your success, it’s important to measure both the quantity and the quality of your results. You should analyze data from online engagements (e.g. clicks, shares, and comments) and tally the number of your key messages within articles. And remember, metrics and KPIs should be established before your launch so you can compare your expectations with your results.
4. Gather plenty of initial feedback about your product.
Releasing your product and receiving coverage is only part of the battle. It’s also important to gather and review feedback about the product, drawing from media reviews, online comments, social media conversations, and more. If the feedback is generally positive, great! Use the positivity to further bolster your product’s presence. If the feedback is negative, use it to fine-tune your product and business practices to deliver a better customer experience.
5. Don’t neglect other parts of your business during the launch.
You’ll still need people to manage sales and development of your other products, pursue new business opportunities, and handle day-to-day business operations. Establish work routines so your company can handle extra business generated from the launch while maintaining its structure and momentum. In the grand scheme of things, one product launch is a drop in the metaphorical pond of your overall success.
With strategic planning, attention to detail, and a focus on measuring success, you can avoid the pitfalls of a bad product launch with ease.