🚀 Week 21 - The Beginner’s Guide to a Product Launch: Everything You Need to Know
"The only thing worse than launching a product is not launching a product." - Eric Ries
💯 Framework // Concept // Mental Model
The Beginner’s Guide to a Product Launch: Everything You Need to Know
Thanks for reading Sid’s Product Newsletter! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
When you’re launching a product, there’s a lot to think about and a lot of moving parts. You need to learn about your customer, write a positioning statement, pitch your positioning to stakeholders, plan your go-to-market strategy, set a goal for the launch, create promotional content, prepare your team, and launch the product.
Then, once the product is launched, you need to see how well you did in achieving your goals.
If all of this sounds like a lot, don’t worry. I am here to help. In this beginner’s guide,I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about launching a product. By the end, you’ll have a solid plan in place to ensure your next product launch is a success.
What is a product launch?
A product launch is the process of introducing a new product or service to the market. The launch process begins long before the product is actually released, and it continues after the product is available to consumers. There are many different components to a product launch. In general, the goal of a product launch is to create anticipation and excitement for the product, generate buzz, and increase sales.
Why are product launches important?
Product launches are important because they can be a make-or-break moment for a company. If a product launch is unsuccessful, it can damage a company’s reputation and negatively impact sales. An successful product launch, on the other hand, can do wonders for a company. It can increase brand awareness, build customer loyalty, and drive sales.
Hard launch or soft launch?
When launching a new product, you have two options: a hard launch or a soft launch.
Hard launch is when you release your product all at once to the public. This type of launch is typically used for products that are completely new and innovative.
Soft launch on the other hand, is when you release your product to a limited audience first before releasing it to the general public. This type of launch is often used for products that are incremental improvements over existing products.
So, which type of launch is right for your product? It depends on several factors, including your product's type, your resources, and your objectives
Product launches can be complex and multifaceted, requiring the coordination of multiple teams and stakeholders. It's important to have a clear plan in place to ensure a smooth and successful launch. Here are 7 key steps to follow when launching a new product
Step1: 🎯 Product launch goals:
First and foremost you need to decide on what the goal your team want to achieve through the product launch. Make sure your goals are clear, measurable, and have an expected time frame.
Some common business goals for a product launch include:
Find a product-market fit
Capture new customers
Increase in revenue
Build product awareness
Build the company’s reputation in the industry
Step2:📜 Kickoff the Product Launch
The upcoming product launch activities will include the involvement of representatives from most departments in your organization Although they may not be assigned any tasks until the final stages of the launch.
It's essential to identify and involve all stakeholders in the product launch kickoff, even if they aren't assigned any tasks until the final stages. Not every team needs to be involved or represented, but there should be clear communication nonetheless.
As a product Manager you are responsible for piecing of all the activities together, you might be working with marketing on what the go to market strategy is, How the messaging should look like, Training sales and customer service about the product, Getting leadership alignment etc
Here are some of the teams that might be involved
Marketing - Go to market strategy, Messaging,Marketing collateral, Landing page etc
Customer service - Product service, FAQs, Training
Social media, PR - Getting word out to the press
Engineering - Product development
Manufacturing - Manufacture physical product on time
Legal - Licensing , IP protection, Copyright, Partner agreements etc
Finance - Revenue recognition etc
Sales - Selling the product through different channels
Step 3: 💎 Emphasize the value of the product
At this early stage, your product launch kickoff should focus entirely on the new product’s value (or the next version) and how it will deliver to customers. The details are likely to change, so it’s better to avoid confusing functionalities with overarching value.
During the kickoff, harken back to the vision, themes, and goals of the product. These should become the emphasis for a successful launch. This conversation will drive messaging, channels, activities, and target audiences.
The kickoff conversations should answer the following questions for meeting members:
What problems is the product solving?
How does this align with the company vision?
What pain points is it addressing?
Whom is it helping?
Why are we building this?
Step 4: 👬Cross-Departmental Engagement
It's vital that different departments within an organization are on the same page before launch. To make this happen, set aside dedicated time to meet with each department. During these meetings, review the specific information each department needs. This will help ensure that every department is able to complete their deliverables accurately and on time.
It's important to get marketing involved early on in the product launch process. Marketing can craft messages and talking points that speak to the product's unique value proposition. This ensures accuracy and prevents sales from being thrown off by inaccurate information. Product marketing, in particular, plays a vital role in the success of the sales team. So don't wait to get marketing on board.
The better your sales team understands your product, the more they can sell it. It may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many sales teams are not properly trained on the products they are selling. We see it all the time - a salesperson tries to sell a product without really understanding what it does or who it's for. As a result, the sales pitch is often not tailored to the customer's needs and the sale is lost.
Don't let this happen to your company. Make sure your sales team is properly trained on your product before they start selling it. This will help them understand the product's value proposition and how it can benefit the customer. They will also be able to identify the customer profile that is most likely to convert. By taking the time to train your sales team, you will be setting them up
Sales collateral and demos
It's important for sales teams to be consistent with each other. This is where resources like slide decks, collateral, and sell sheets come in. There should be a wide variety of resources available that can be tailored to different target audiences, as well as follow-up materials for each stage of the sales process.
In order to increase sales, it's important to provide potential customers with product demonstrations. However, this can be difficult to scale. A better solution is to train sales staff on the product so they can give their own demos. This way, you can provide demonstrations to more people without sacrificing quality.
Your product's success depends heavily on a strong support team. If your support team is feeling lost or stuck, your customers will only be more confused. As you move your product forward, don't forget about the people who help make it successful.
Step 5: 🚀 Launch your product
You start aligning the teams, promoting interest among potential customers, complete training internal teams, finalize messaging and develop collateral etc. Once you have completed these steps, you can proceed with launching your product or service.
From the very beginning, you should be selling your product or service. Get a website set up and start engaging with potential customers. Line up B2B deals and get feedback from potential customers. That way, when you're ready to launch, you'll already have leads or customers. Having a great product is important, but it's not enough on its own. You need to put in the hard work to sell it too.
Step 6: 🤯 Feedback collection
It's important to get feedback on your product in order to gauge how well it aligns with your customer expectations. You need to decide what methods, types of feedback, and channels you will use. There are various options available, depending on your niche. Some examples include ratings and reviews on the App Store and Play Market, or review platforms like TripAdvisor, Foursquare, Capterra, or CNET. You can also use custom or off-the-shelf sentiment analysis tools or brand mentions tracking solutions. Whichever route you choose, make sure you're getting the feedback you need to improve your product.
Step 6: #️⃣ Product Metrics
It's important to get everyone on the same page about what success looks like for your product. Whether you're just launching your product or it's been on the market for a while, it's helpful to revisit the goals that were proposed before and during the product launch kickoff. This will help ensure that everyone is clear on what metrics actually matter.
There are a lot of different metrics you could track (sales, revenue, new users, page views, adoption, etc.), but it's important to make sure that they actually align with the organization's KPIs. If they don't, you run the risk of using vanity metrics that don't actually tell you anything useful about the product.
Instead, focus on metrics that answer questions about the overall product strategy. These are the metrics that will actually give you insights into how the product is performing
In conclusion, the key to a successful product launch is careful planning and collaboration across departments. By setting clear goals, involving all relevant stakeholders, emphasizing the value of the product, and ensuring that every team is properly trained and informed, you can set your product up for success. With these steps in mind, you can confidently bring your new product to market and achieve the results you desire.
The Launch: A Product Marketer's Guide: 50 key questions & lessons for a successful launch
I spend a lot of time researching on topics to give you the best content, If you like my work please like and share it with others. If you have any feedback for me or want me to write on other topics please leave a comment below. Thanks for your continued support.
✌️ It only takes one minute to complete the Net Promoter Score survey for this Post, and your feedback helps me to make each Post better.
Thanks for reading Sid’s Product Newsletter! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.