Companies decide to launch new products for a variety of reasons. If you have already decided to launch a new product or complimentary service, this article will guide you through the steps to guarantee its success. We will also explore reasons for launching a new product in the first place. The best group of people or companies to test a new product with is, your existing customers!
Why launch a new offering from your company?
There are three principle reasons that new products are launched, they are as follows:
1. To satisfy additional customer demand.
2. Spotting an additional way of adding value to your existing portfolio, in a new or existing niche.
3. As a means of diversifying, to either grow the business, or to protect future earnings as a cash cow, reaches end of life.
If you have not already decided to add to your offering, it may be worth checking to see if any of the above criteria are applicable to your company.
So let’s assume that you have decided to launch your new product or service, your first step is to examine, if the business case stands up in its own right.
This simply means that you need to write a business plan, as though you were launching a new company. The only key difference is that you will be able to factor in existing resources that you will use to make, market, sell and service your new offering. You should also look at the impact the new venture will have on your existing business.
I am assuming that you know how to write a successful business plan, if you need any help, you may wish to register for a free consultation.
The key market planning activities
Let us turn our focus on to the key marketing planning activities that you need to embark upon:
- Research your target market – You will need to gauge the size of the market, and their propensity to buy this new offering.
- Price your Product – A previous article, pricing for profit, will help you with this.
- Test your offering – This is absolutely vital, and the remainder of this article goes into detail, on how that should be done.
- Launch your Product – Your testing will have helped you create your marketing plan, and this is what you will now set into action.
- Sell and service your offering – finally you must ensure that you have capacity to meet demand. Nothing kills a new product’s future success than potential customer’s inability to get hold of the product.
Testing your new Product or Service
If possible the best group of people or companies to test a new product with is, your existing customers. If you have serviced them well in the past, they are far more likely to do you a favour, and give you honest feedback.
If the new offering is not applicable to your existing customer base, then pick a test group, as representative of your identified target market as possible. They should also if possible be conveniently located to you, so that you can respond rapidly to any teething issues that may arise.
Your test customers, not only help identify any issues, most importantly, they will provide you with testimonials, which demonstrate the following.
- Why they need or desire your offering in the first place?
- What is unique about your offering?
- What your offering enables them to do?
- How they put a value on it?
- Why they believe it is superior to doing it themselves or using a competitor?
Assuming your testing goes well and you decide to do a full blown product launch, you have now created the marketing message that you should use through the testimonial process.
If you need help with any of these stages, or indeed the final marketing launch, please do drop us a line, or request a free sales and marketing assessment.
This article was written by Peter Lawless, founder of 3R Sales and Marketing – www.3r.ie. For previous articles like this, visit 3R’s Articles. Alternatively, subscribe to Success our free monthly Information Bulletin with sales and marketing articles.