Product marketing and management consultants
Bringing new and innovative products to market
Studies have indicated that anywhere form 80-95% of all new product introductions fail – A staggering statistic… But why do so many new product introductions fail to attain success in the marketplace or even in the initial product launch stage?
At a high-level product launched can fail to succeed because companies or inventors are so enamored with their new product idea that they fail to do competitive research or may even ignore the findings of such research. In other cases, they may fail to develop a competitive pricing strategy, or are unable to develop an appropriate distribution plan. Sometimes the issue is a lack of capital or planning, and of course there is always the case where the product is simply a bad idea.
6 Key Activities for Introducing New Products to the Market
Create a Planning and Product Launch Strategy
In virtually all cases, however, a successful new product launch will result from the planning and execution of an integrated planning, product development, and marketing process that is focused on identifying and solving for potential obstacles up front. While you will need to make dozens of decisions and coordinate a hundred or more activities around your new product introduction, let's review a number high level areas related to effectively launching a new product.
1.)Market Research is Critical: Many entrepreneurs and companies justifiably get excited about their ideas – after all that is how innovations happen… But without making even a small investment in market research you may end up wasting time and valuable capital. Market research around your product launch it provides critical information about consumer needs and the needs of potential distribution partners. It helps to define your feature set and pricing strategy and, potentially most critically, helps you to understand the competitive landscape. 2.)Developing a Product Launch Project Plan: Capital – both human and financial are scarce resources. But you can spend less and earn more by developing a detailed project plan that outlines the timing coordination required for each aspect of your new product introduction. This includes: branding, packaging, prototyping, testing, manufacture, shipping, promotion and more. Many products need to be timed to critical points in the business cycle, and if you miss those milestones you will invite failure, lose credibility, and lose sales! 3.)Manufacturing Capacity and Product Sourcing: Your strategy with regard to product sourcing could very well determine whether you can produce your product on your own or whether you will need to license it to another company. If you have limited resources, the former may require you to have a “go-slow” approach to distribution so that you do not have challenges with fulfilling orders. A licensed approach can get you to market faster and more broadly, but your income will be restricted to a small royalty and you will lose control of your new product line. 4.)Establishing Your Distribution Plan: Have you thought about who is going to sell the product? While large companies may already have existing distribution and sales departments, many entrepreneurs, inventors, or small companies do not have these resources. Additionally, they may be great at inventing product, but not good at selling them. Finally, they need to make sure they are able to put their products into the right sales channels – retail, web, direct-to-consumer, etc. at the right time and in the right amount. There are many companies that can assist you with your product sales plan. 5.)Marketing and Promotion Programs: Finally, you need the product marketing program to support the introduction of your product. This includes things like advertising, trade shows, promotional literature, technical literature, samples, incentives, market development funds, web site development, seminars, and press releases/public relations. This needs to be coordinated with your production, shipments, marketing, and training programs. Without an effective marketing plan your new product will simply sit in your warehouse or you will be forced to take returns from distribution partners. 6.)Managing the Product Lifecycle: Do you have one new product or a complete product line? Most distribution partners including major retailers and distributors will want more than one item, so you will need to consider creating line extensions. Plus, since your competitors are not standing still, you will need to consider what next season’s product line looks like. You will also need to think about how you will handle things like product returns and warranties.
Take Advantage of Other’s Expertise in Product Marketing and Product Launches
These are some of the myriad issues entrepreneurs, inventors, and companies face when launching a new product or service. Your ability to anticipate and plan for the various contingencies regarding your product launch will increase the probability of success. The good news is that if you are not experienced in these matters there are product launch consultants who can provide assistance at reasonable rates. Investing in even a half-day conversation with these specialists can save you time, money, and many false starts as you introduce your new product to market.
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