Product launch is a strategy in which a new product is introduced in the market to the customers. It may be a new product and first of its kind or it may be other product amongst competitors. Product is a very common but important practice in the industry.
It is the first step of public exposure in Marketing strategy. Since it is the first step, it’s of great importance in marketing strategy because if the first step is right, then there is a very high probability that all of the steps will be correct. To know more about Product Launch click here.
In this article, we are going to study the steps that are used in launching the product. Launching a product requires a lot of planning and management of many things to make the launch successful.
Essentially there are two phrases which are considered important in a product launch that is steps that have to be taken before the launch of a product in steps that have to be taken during the launch of the product.
Steps to be taken before the Product Launch:
There are certain steps which have to be taken before the launch as a part of its preparation.
#1. STPD Analysis
Before a product is launched, the company must perform STPD Analysis. Segmentation, Targeting, Positioning, and Differentiation Analysis should be performed to understand the viability of the product and the acceptance of the product.
Performing these steps help the marketeers to place the product and make the necessary changes to make it more viable in the market.
#2. Communication Tools
Next important thing after knowing who are the target audiences and how to position the product would be to how to reach them. Using proper modes of communication to write target audience is essential to convey the message.
This is also very important in establishing a brand image and brand value for the customer. For example, it makes sense to advertise digital courses via digital media. That is why social media marketing is a very important role in promoting digital courses.
On the other hand, to promote regular offline classes, offline marketing should be used like putting up informercials near schools and libraries during the admission period.
#3. Market Research
Before launching any product, the market research team must conduct a detailed survey about the available products and their competitors in the market along with the potential of the market and the viability of the product.
The market research also shows what the nature of demand in the market is and what kind of product is expected by the customers. The primary objective of market research is to find the problem and address it.
Sometimes market research also addresses the need of the customers in which case the companies perceive the result of the research to develop the product and deliver it to the customers.
Part of the research also includes identifying customer buying patterns and determining the average Product life cycle in the market.
#4. Competition and market analysis
Some companies perform competitor and market analysis in the market research while in other cases where the product is of high importance, these and other tests have to be performed separately. Knowing the competition is very important as it helps to place the product accordingly.
Having a USP gives the product an edge over competitors which is what is required to establish the product. This knowledge helps the organization in preparing a better product and deliver it to the customers.
#5. Market trials
Once the product is developed after the market research, proper market trials must be conducted so that the product is tested. In the case of services, trial services are given to a couple of customers, and observations are noted.
The suggestions of customers are being worked upon and change if required are made in the product of the service and then launched in the market accordingly. But it remains an important fact that market prices are essential and a determinant of success or failure of the product.
#6. Marketing Plan
A well-planned marketing strategy makes the difference between success and failure of your product. The marketing plan is very crucial to make the product known to the customers. This is where an efficient marketing strategy comes into the picture.
Before a product is launched, the company has to prepare an efficient marketing strategy based on the initial market research and surveys.
The ultimate aim of marketing is to establish the brand value of the product, to build awareness and support the sales function. Marketing itself does not act as a revenue generator, but it supports the sales function.
Now that the preparation of the Product launch is finished, the next step would be to launch the product.
Following are the steps involved in Product Launch
#1. Product testing
Product testing is a part of pre-product launch preparation as well as part of product launch. This depends entirely on the nature of the product.
For consumer products, product testing is carried before the launch of the product while in the case of pharmaceutical products, product testing is carried out even after the launch is complete. This is true, especially in the case of scheduled drugs where product testing is a continuous process.
#2. Team building
Another aspect of a successful product launch is having a prepared team dedicated to product management. The team should not only be prepared to face hurdles if any but also utilize the budget of the product meticulously.
It is important also to ensure that the team remains motivated throughout the process of product launch. The goals set should be achievable by the team within the defined period.
Periodic incentives on the achievement of Sales targets also keep the team motivated.
#3. Inventory Management
After the product is officially launched, it is necessary that the company prepares for Sales. The ultimate aim is the sale of the product for which the marketing team prepares.
The sales of product are expected to rise for which the company has to prepare itself by making provisions of inventory.
Inventory management and making the product available at the right time and right place affect the sale positively. Inventory availability determines the success of the product since it affects the sale directly.
#4. Articulate benchmarks
As a part of managing the product, defining proper benchmarks to be achieved is crucial. Once they have been defined, it is easy for the team to follow the path and reach their goals. These could be anything – from achieving sales to establishing measurable brand value, etc.
These pre-defined benchmarks act as a guide to the team. The success of a brand depends more or less on a marketing strategy which is formulated during a product launch.
#5. Finance Management
While launching the product, the company, amongst other things, has to manage the finances of the product. Calculating the costs involved in the production, to inventory management, supply chain management, marketing, and advertising costs and other losses are associated costs with the product launch, which have to be kept in mind.
Excess inventory will cost a fortune to the company and overshoot the budget. Managing finances not only saves cost for the company but also increases profit which is the ultimate goal of an organization.
#6. Pricing of the product
Another major factor which determines the success of a product is pricing. The product should be priced optimally and in line with the competitors.
A pricing strategy should be chalked out based on the product, and it should be in sync with the marketing strategy.
A product priced too economic would mean lower profit margins for the company while a high priced product would mean higher profits but lesser customers. All of this should be decided in advance to assist the product with a successful product launch.
Once the product is launched, then customer feedback is the next step. The initial users are encouraged to share their feedback which helps the management to make necessary changes in the product.
Customer feedback also increases two-way communication between the customers and the company.
The launch feedback is also collected from internal stakeholders and employees who were directly or indirectly involved in the product launch. The positive feedback is shared to prospective customers, while negative feedback is critically evaluated and worked upon.