Benjamin Franklin hit the nail on the head when he said: “Failing to plan, is planning to fail.” Although he lived in a time when new product launches were hardly a priority, his words continue to ring true today when approximately 95% of the new products that are launched every year, ultimately fail. While these statistics may be daunting, all hope is not lost as planning your product launch properly can reduce the risk of long-term failure significantly. Here are a few basic guidelines to follow to help ensure your new product launch and the product itself is a success.
Start Planning Early
If you wait until a week before the product launch to start planning it, chances are good that it will be a disaster. You ultimately want to have the plan for your product launch in place at least four months in advance. With between eight and twelve weeks to go until the launch it is important that you start sending out press releases to relevant media houses. You are more likely to receive coverage if you have an established relationship with a reporter so make that a priority early on in your planning as well. By giving yourself enough time to plan the product launch you can eliminate many potential problems and reduce the stress of everyone involved in the launch.
Assess the Necessities
Although no one wants to think about everything that can potentially go wrong with a new product, it is vital to assess various aspects of it including liability, safety, and compliance. By assessing these and other important factors you can decrease your risk of having to face a product liability lawsuit in the future. Risk can be reduced by ensuring that the product has no design or manufacturing defects, that any risk to consumers is clearly indicated, and that no false advertising is engaged in. The legalities that a product has to comply with, is largely dependent on the nature of the product. There is also nothing that prevents a manufacturer from choosing to adhere to a number of voluntary standards and guidelines to help reduce risk. It is, after all, better to prevent any problems than to deal with them as they occur.
Think Beyond the Launch
One of the secrets to making your new product launch successful is to think beyond the actual product launch. It is not a rare occurrence that product developers and marketers all but forget about a new product as soon as launch day is over. Due to this failure to plan beyond the launch, many great products fade into obscurity. When planning your project launch, think big but also reassure your potential customers that you will have their best interests at heart long after launch day. If you have a solid marketing plan in place for at least a month post-launch you will be able to cash in on the original hype, even if the actual launch did not go quite as viral as you had hoped for.
Launching a new product is undoubtedly very exciting. By planning your launch properly you can not only help ensure that it is a success but reduce the risk of your product failing as well.