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Optimize your next product launch

Oct 03, 2018

Use these eight best practices to make your product launch as successful as possible.

Anywhere from 70% to 90% of new products introduced to the market will fail. But fewer and fewer fall short due to poor product quality or design.

Today's most successful product launches are defined by driving awareness and advocacy, educating front-line sales teams and optimizing launch investment to maximize ROI and sustain momentum.

Follow these eight best practices to make your product launch as successful as possible:

1. Build for the long-haul. A "launch" is not a one-time event - it's a continuum. Create sustainable learning and job support resources that capture the essence of launch objectives, give launch content and media assets a broader reach and provide a repeatable roadmap for tomorrow's new hire.

2. Tend the field. Your field teams are the direct line to your channel. Give them the tools they need early on to help shepherd the launch message and empower them to amplify and activate launch tactics on the grassroots level.

3. Break down the walls. Press reveals, long-leads, short-leads, training, experiential and social all have one big thing in common – the need for good content, media and a deployment strategy. Maximize efficiency by creating
a consolidated launch content framework that gets the right information to the right stakeholders.

4. Invest in the best. Designate channel “champions” who are most likely to carry the message and positively impact launch success. Offer targeted, in-depth learning, communications, job support and KPI measurement with the promise of professional development, reward/recognition opportunity and sustained retail leadership in return.

5. Be flexible. Make the most of the physical footprint of launch events. Create flexible content, properties and experience models that work for channel, employee and consumer engagement alike and cross-train facilitation/brand ambassador teams to execute on multiple event types
in a single market.

6. Get ahead of it. Even the slightest hint of a product reveal may be enough to set off consumer viral momentum too soon. Get your channel ready early – plan pre-launch awareness, education and communications that equip sales teams to tease product highlights, answer customer questions and generate long-lead enthusiasm at the retail level.

7. Stay in the moment. The last days of an outgoing product are often the most important. Reinforce value, push the right inventory reduction strategy and keep channel sales teams (and customers) focused on what’s in the showroom right now.

8. Research like a customer. Many companies forget customers are learning about their products from a wide variety of third-party sources. Educate channel teams about what the press, blogs, social outlets and super fans are saying – both good and bad.

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Keep reading to optimize your next product launch.