A Definitive 14-Point Product Launch Checklist

With so much involved in launching a new product, it can be easy for things to fall through the cracks. Because a product launch is such a resource intensive proposition for most companies, forgetting even one element could have disastrous results. A new product launch checklist can often be an effective tool in successfully bringing your item to market.

Objectives

There’s a reason why this is first on the list. The objectives for your new product should have been identified very early in the development process. Just before launch, go back and review those objectives to see if they’re still relevant to your product.

Budget

This is another area that is often set at the beginning of the process. Review the amount of money that was allocated for the product’s development and how much ended up being actually spent. The difference will need to be added to, or subtracted from, your product launch.

Testing

Before you initialize any of your other pre-launch activities, you want to make sure that your new product has been properly tested. This can be done in house by your staff, or even your own family members. You want to make sue that you can identify possible problems with the product yourself. That way you can head off any issues that customers might have and get feedback about how well the product functions.

Distribution and Inventory

Your means of getting your product to the consumer needs to be ready and in place. If your advertising and public relations materials kick off before this happens, the public will have no way of getting your product. Promotion without something to sell doesn’t do anyone any good. That being said, you also need to ensure that the proper levels of inventory are maintained. It’s critical to be able to react to consumer demand. Make sure that you have enough product in time to replenish the supply that has already been sold.

Target Your Audience

Failing to target a specific market is a common mistake with new product launches. If you haven’t defined who you’re going to sell to, how can you be sure they need the product, and how will you develop a plan to reach them?

Launch Date

By establishing a launch date for your product, you can begin to develop a timeline for all of your required launch activities. This way you can start allocating resources to your launch and identifying members of your staff to take care of key responsibilities.

Pricing

Your product pricing needs to meet volume, margin and profit objectives established by your business. You also want to decide if you’ll be using any sales promotions as part of your product introduction.

Packaging

The design and manufacturing of your packaging should be complete before your launch date. If you product is something that is going to be sold in a retail store, make sure that it features all of your branding and product information so that customers will choose it over your competition. You also want the packaging to be durable enough to protect the product during shipping.

Literature

Make sure all of your product-related literature is ready to go for launch, including an installation and instruction manual. Make sure to leave plenty of time for documents to be translated (if needed), product photos to be taken, and illustrations or videos to be made for your manuals. Also ensure that your marketing materials have been put together for your website. All these materials should be used during the product training process as well.

Training

Sales, customer service, repair staff, and distribution channels all need to be educated on the benefits and features of the new product. They need to be comfortable and know it well. Any employee who’ll be in touch with customers needs to be familiar with the product. Put together sales training kits for people to refer to when selling the product to the public. Make sure that selling the new product is the sales staff’s primary focus.

Advertising

Your advertising campaigns and promotions should be in place and ready to go with your launch date. They should be put together in a way that accurately and effectively reaches your target market. Decide which way or ways that you’ll advertise – print, online, or radio and TV. Make sure that your website is in place to capitalize on your new product. This is one of the first places that people go to dig up new information. It needs to be ready to provide the content that people need.

Public Relations

Send out a press release around your anticipated product launch date. Develop a press packet that contains your release, as well as images, video clips and articles that are relevant to your new product.

Samples

New products need to be explained to prospects. The easiest way to explain a new product to someone is to show them a sample of the product. This gives them some hands on interaction, so that they can get the feel of it.

The Launch

This is your opportunity to release your product to the world. There are a number of ways to generate publicity for your new product. From releasing it at a trade show to putting together a conference or other event, your goal should be to target your audience in the most effective way possible.

Conclusion

Launching a new product can be one of the most stressful times for a business, and it can be easy to get carried away by the excitement. If you just remember these basics, you should have everything covered for your launch.





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Posted in Marketing, Product Launch Marketing

 


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