Considerations in launching a new product

From a marketing point of view, launching a new product is an exercise where it’s easy to focus on the detail at the expense of the big picture. I’m thinking, for example, about who’s going to be interested in the product. If it’s an “upgrade” on something your company already supplies, then you’re probably targeting existing customers. This is a very different scenario from a product which takes you into new areas, where you may be targeting prospects who’ve never even heard of you before. Those are the sort of fundamental concepts which can actually be overlooked in the rush to get data sheets ready.

As for the launch itself, the first group of people you’ll be looking at after customers is the press. If you do this face-to-face, perhaps at somewhere like First Friday Club, you’ll have the opportunity to “sell” the story to editors, based on their questions. But if you’re just sending out press releases, you’ll need to pre-empt what’s in their minds. Why should they run your story? What can this product do for their readers? Too many product launches overlook that crucial point.

Most important of all is to have full coverage of the product on your website, flagged as prominently as possible. It’s where everybody is going to look – existing customers, new prospects, the press and your own staff. If the product fails to appear, or is tucked away in an obscure corner of the site, visitors will deduce that whatever you’ve claimed about the significance of the product, it’s actually not very important to you. And probably shouldn’t be to them either.

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