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6 Steps for a Successful Consumer Product Launch
Based on our experience with new product launches, we’ve compiled these steps to help ensure a healthy go to market strategy.
In our 33 years in business, BKV has worked with many manufacturers and service companies as they have launched new products. We’ve learned that what excites someone in R&D doesn’t always resonate with the consumer. That a fabulous product with uncompromisingly high production costs will never make it out of the gate. That a product rushed to market will often not work quite as intended, disappointing the consumer, generating high return rates and killing ROI – and future chances to market the product.
The bottom line is that a lot of great new product ideas will fail. Sometimes it’s a bad idea or quality or manufacturing problems, but often it’s simply a result of inadequate planning and testing on the front end. Based on our experience with new product launches, we’ve compiled these steps to help ensure a healthy go to market strategy.
What need is the product filling? How urgent is the need? What's the value to the consumer? How big is the market? How much is the consumer willing to pay to have that need met? Can the product be produced cost-effectively?
Discuss the product with the consumer. Does it fulfill a real and significant need? Does it fulfill an aspirational desire? Is it worth the price? Does it replace a product/service they are currently using? Does this enhance their life in small or significant ways?
What are the COGS? What’s the delivery cost? Return rate? Churn rate? Additional sales? Develop various payout models to determine the optimum price (including offer) and volume needed for go-to-market.
How difficult is it to identify and reach the consumer? Is this a new-to-the-world product or a product extension? A new market or an existing one? How will the product be sold – distributor, dealer, retail, direct? What’s the competition?
How can this product standout on the shelves, online, or wherever it is sold? Does it need in-store support to sell? How-to-use video?
- Brand Essence – What’s the essence of the brand? What is the fundamental thing that makes the brand different? How does this product fulfill the brand promise? What need are we fulfilling for the customer?
- Positioning – If there is an existing product (that we are extending), how is it currently positioned in the market place? How would we like it to be positioned?
- Essential message – What is the core message that we would like or customers to know about the brand/product? Is it safer? Sexier? Cheaper? Does it fulfill some unspoken need?
- SWOT analysis – What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the successful launch of the product?
- Competition – Who is the primary competition? How are they positioning themselves? What strategies are they utilizing? What have they overlooked?
- Media considerations – Are we developing an integrated marketing communications program? Direct response advertising? Are we using viral techniques? Events? Word of mouth/social/referrals? All digital? A mixture of on/offline?
- Tactical plan overview and specifics – including timelines, budgets, tracking, and metrics for determining success.
There are no guarantees of a product’s success, but we have found that a disciplined planning process will help determine a product’s suitability or lack of suitability in the market. The result: better products, better marketing, better ROI.