6 essentials that should be on every product launch checklist

As a product manager, you know that a solid and detailed product launch checklist is vital in order to successfully launch a new product on the market. We’ve listed 6 focus points that should not be missing from your own product launch checklist.

1.  Identify Key Metrics

Measuring the success of any product launch is going to present problems. It’s important to develop well in advance the list of metrics you intend to utilize. Team members can provide input of course. They’ll let you know precisely what they need to hear from consumers in order to fine-tune your marketing message. This will also allow you to see that key analytics systems are in place to assess success. Once you’ve determined what resources will be required, you can then address pressing questions about the schedule, scope and budget of a roll-out.

2. Market Internally

Getting opinions about the consumer experience prior to a product launch can be especially challenging. Much like a family recipe passed down the generations. Many companies are fiercely protective of their product and try to keep a lid on its features as long as possible. There’s also a strong emphasis on not over-promising prior to an introduction. One way to work around this obstacle is to market the product internally. A large number of major brands now regularly do just that.

Additionally, this will help everyone in your organization get a sense of what the product message really is. Internal parties can even help with the rollout, bringing the message accurately and directly to the customer on the first launch day.

3. Follow the Manufacturing Process

Especially during the initial rollout of a brand-new product, many of the manufacturing processes aren’t fully in place. Any marketing campaign is going to want to set specific dates for a variety of stages of the product launch, and nothing creates bad press more than missing a target. Knowing that ground is being lost prior to a rollout is important. It allows the marketing team to move target dates and avoid needlessly delivering a negative message about the potential success of a launch.

4. Use Samples to Gain Online Reviews Prior to Launch

The reality is that a lot of consumers simply aren’t going to take the leap of faith in buying a new product, especially one that’s from a completely new line. That is, unless they have some sense of reassurance. Among consumers below the age of 50, about half will consistently check online reviews as part of the process of making product purchase choices.

Using samples to put a product in the hands of influencers and real consumers before it becomes available to the general public is one of the most important ways to build the consumer trust you need. It’s wise to get a good spread of these reviewers, including people on social media and established consumer review websites. If you’re targeting older consumers, you may also want to build a list of contributors who do video reviews, since your desired audience is more likely to watch these.

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5. Build Desire

As you move toward a determined launch date, you’ll want to have a marketing campaign in place to drive interest in a product. Getting a product website up with key information is an absolute must. You’ll also want to start touching base with influencers and letting them know what your target dates are. Your product launch should be a people-centric event that folks anticipate, demonstrating how the product will be something they’ll want to show off. For example, Apple’s Animoji feature for its iPhone figured heavily in a TV campaign prior to launch, and it quickly became something Samsung, its main competitor, sought to replicate.

6. Refine Your Messaging

Every stage of the process is a chance to refine the message. Internal parties will provide feedback, as will initial reviewers, and you may be surprised to discover what excites people about your product. In order to take advantage of unexpected opportunities, it’s wise to keep some of your resources unallocated. Preparation for a product launch is vital, but it’s also prudent to maintain some flexibility as you move past the first day of selling directly to the public.

Good luck with making your product launch checklist complete. In the meantime: if you have a product and you acknowledge the importance of more reviews, schedule a call with us and we are happy to explain our solutions to you.