The introduction of a new product or service to the market is no longer what it used to be. The market is saturated with products, promises and “innovations”, and customers have become more cynical. They are used to companies claiming to have reinvented the wheel and are wary of “big bang” publications.
A creative approach to attracting attention to product launches is, therefore, an essential part of successful marketing campaigns. The way in which a product or service is presented and sold is indeed the main weapon for companies of all types and sizes.
Here are five essential steps to bring a new product or service to market successfully.
1. Know your market (and your competitors)
It is important to remember that your product does not exist in a void. Once launched on the market, it is placed on a shelf – whether digital or physical – and becomes another choice among many.
To ensure the success of your product, you must be sure that there is room for it. Not many companies would launch an apple flavored soda in a market that already has 200 apple flavored soda varieties as such a market environment would immediately dip the product into darkness and divide the target audience over and over. It would be much better to find an alternative to apples.
The above principle applies to any product that is not new (and few are) in its entirety. It is also important to evaluate your competition, especially if you are not a large company. Market share should not be your main concern when you look at your competitors, but the speed with which your competitors bring new products to the market.
Your investment in innovation and future products can be an important indication that the market in which you want to participate is active, which means that a new product will not be perceived as such for long. An obvious example would be the smartphone industry.
Carefully study both the market for your product or service and your competitors long before the official launch of your product.
2. Know your product (and how to put it on the market)
Before you can share it with others, you must first know your own product. For this reason, you should take enough time to study the development in the pre-launch phase.
Talk to the people who had the idea or, if that is you, talk to the people who helped you make it a reality to make sure you are aware of all its subtleties. Get in touch with your creatives or copywriters and listen to the top management. See how each of them feels about the product.
In this phase, it can be very helpful to familiarize yourself with the product if you are looking for inspiration. Don’t just seek feedback from those who helped develop the product – try it out for yourself.
In the end, everyone is a consumer, and you are no exception to this rule. Let your curious side run free and try to look at the product as if you had seen it for the first time.
3. Know how to convey (and package) it
Once you are familiar with the product, it is time to decide how you want to promote, package or present it. Obviously, appearance and presentation belong to the main components of a market launch or marketing strategy.
The “packaging” of your new product will be the main thing that distinguishes it from other similar products on the market. One strategy is to focus your product on a specific character, keyword or situation and promote it at the same time. While two elements can be weaker separately, their interplay will also be remembered on an unconscious level by the customer.
Promotion is often as important as the product itself. Today, you can choose from a wide range of media to promote your new product, but that doesn’t mean you should use them all. Pick one and make it strong. A website is always a good place to invest your time and effort because it is not only cheap but also mass attractive.
You can also use social media to spread news and photos of your product at an early stage.
4. Know how to make it foolproof (error-free)
The pre-release beta test of your product is the phase in which you expose your newborn child to the judgment of the Internet. The process tells you if your product is strong enough to get it to market.
Ask your testers to think about similar products and actively compare them with yours. That’s what they would do in a real scenario anyway, and that’s what you’re looking for. Test the packaging’, i.e. the image it projects and the feeling it creates.
Find out your own perspective on how it presents itself in the beta phase and ask about that of others.
All these practices are involved in the essential phase of testing. Correctly done, they will tell you whether the product will be successful or not.
Before you actually start your website, you should also think about testing it. The best way to do this is through A/B tests. This is a process where two (or more) versions of the same page are displayed to random users. It helps you to determine which variation performs better through statistical analysis.
5. Get ready to start (and sell) it
Even if they have heard the same lines and slogans before, customers are still curious about new products. You just need to make sure they hear the right information about yours. They need to know what it is, where to find it, how much it costs and why they should buy it. Provide answers to these four questions and arouse customer curiosity.
Also, after completing the previous steps, you have probably found out who is the ideal user of your product, how he sees it, what it is used for, and so on. Use all this information to build your’hook’. This is either the selling point for your product or a marketing construct that plays well with specific population groups.
For example, cleaning products promise homeowners more efficiency and thus more free time. Such a presentation and hanging will not be possible without knowing your product and your customers.
Once the scene has been set, the lines rehearsed and production revised, all that remains is for your product to be introduced.
If you follow these five steps, your product launch will not in itself be the only highlight of your marketing strategy. The work you did before the actual start will also be a point of pride for you.
Remember, good marketers, do not rely on chance. They have product sheets.