When launching a product there aren’t guaranteed methods for success, especially since every product is unique and every product has a different audience of its own. But having a well-crafted plan to launching a product can help avoid failure.
In this guide to launching a new product, we will discuss visual tools you can use when developing and planning a product launch.
Start with Market Research
Without proper market research, you will not be able to identify your target audience or your competitors. This will only increase the chances of product launch failure. In a market research, you will look into the following areas.
Identify Market Position
It’s important to understand how your average customer perceives the competing products/ brands in the marketplace.
A great tool for this is the perceptual map. It helps you understand how your customer ranks you in terms of characteristics and in comparison to your competitors.
Segment Your Target Audience
One of the important product launch steps is target audience research. How successful your product launch depends on how many people you will influence, with your promotional efforts. So get an idea of the type of people you will be targeting and how to approach them.
Do your customers share common characteristics? Interests? Do they belong to the same age category or come from the same geographical area? You can segment your audience based on different factors. Categorizing them using a diagram like this will make it easy to refer to.
Refer to The Ultimate List of Marketing Strategy Tools to learn how to use a perceptual map and market segmentation chart, and many other marketing strategy planning tools that you can use during this phase.
Create Customer Personas
Go the extra step to create customer personas pertaining to each market segment you have identified. These will come in handy when you are creating your promotional and marketing strategies as well, as you would want to personalize the content you create to target each segment.
How to Create a Customer Persona
Step 1: Research your target audience. You can do this via phone calls, email surveys, or in-person interviews as well.
Step 2: Keep an eye out for important detail such as demographics, age, behaviors, characteristics, challenges, goals etc.
Step 3: Create separate user personas for each segment you’ve identified.
Develop a Unique Value Proposition
Now that you have a thorough knowledge of your competition, how you can rank better than them, your target audience and their wants and needs, it’s time to combine them and create an effective value proposition.
How to Create a Value Proposition
Step 1: Identify the benefits your product offers and figure out how they can help the customers.
Step 2: Identify how your product is different from that of your competitors. Does it have unique features? Or is it the price range?
Step 3: What problems can your product or service solve? Your unique value proposition should show how your product can help solve these problems faced by your customers.
Step 4: Using a value proposition canvas like the one below, you can neatly organize all this data for a quick overview. It’ll help you combine these three elements and create a catchy unique value proposition.
Create a Product Development Roadmap
From development to launch of the product, it takes a lot of work. Proper guidance and a streamlined process is necessary to keep everyone on track. This is where the product roadmap comes into play.
The product roadmap gives a quick overview of all aspects of the product development such as its features, timeline, resources etc. It also helps stakeholder gain insight into how the product will develop in the months to come and track progress.
How to create a product roadmap
Step 1: Using a mind map you can break down complicated processes that you track in your roadmap to individual steps. This will make it easier for you to identify the tasks and allocate time.
Step 2: Assign a sensible timeframe for your initiatives. Instead of sticking to hard deadlines or specific dates, you can plot initiatives at a quarterly or monthly level.
Step 3: Alter your product roadmap to your audience. The detailed roadmap you show to your development team might not resonate with your investors. Tailor the product roadmap to show what the development means to each of them.
Keep Your Team Accountable
It’s important to make sure that everyone involved in the product development and product launch projects has a well-defined goal. If they are unaware of the tasks assigned to them or the goal they are supposed to accomplish, your product roadmap could be in vain.
Map Out the Workflow for Reference
A process map or a flowchart outlining the process steps involved in the product launch project can be a useful source of reference for everyone involved. Anyone who is confused about the next phase or the step of the process can quickly refer to the workflow flowchart. It can also help you with creating the product roadmap.
Release Process Workflow (Scroll on the Creately Viewer to read the diagram)
Assign Tasks to Each Individual
If there’s a well-defined process, it won’t create space for inefficiencies or complications. It’s important to clarify each stage of the process and the individuals responsible for each task – this will create a better understanding.
The following diagram highlights the product development stages and the key players involved. It helps clarify the tasks each individual is accountable for.
Plan Your Product Launch
From learning your target audience and your competitors to selecting the correct channels to promote your product, the product launch phase includes a lot of tasks. And it takes a lot of planning. Here’s how to simplify it.
Outline Your Product Launch Plan
As you brainstorm with your team, you might get flooded with many ideas – but you can’t go ahead with all of them. This is why you need to filter all ideas and create a plan that suits well with your target audience and market.
You can use a mind map like the one below to create an outline of your product launch plan.
Promotional Campaign Mind Map (Scroll on the Creately Viewer to read the diagram)
Create a Product Launch Schedule/ Timeline
Having a product launch schedule will help you stay on track. Prior to creating your schedule, you need to set a launch date – once it’s known, you can create a timeline and plan everything that needs to be done for a successful product launch.
Along with the launch date, it’s important to allocate time for your pre-launch promotions as well. Use the product launch timeline below to plan your product launch.
Add to the Guide to Launching a Product or Service
By incorporating the techniques and templates above you can simplify each product launch step while dramatically improving your new product launch strategy.
Have you got more ideas to add to the list? Go ahead and let us know in the comment section below.
Once your product starts selling, your next concern should be increasing your sales. Here’s how to optimize your sales processes to hit your targets easily.