New product launch: 10 mistakes to avoid
You’ve worked hard and you’re finally ready to launch a new product. You’ve worked hard, spent days and nights on your project and now you just have to enjoy the benefits of so much work. Don’t be overwhelmed by the overwhelming desire to do everything right away. There are mistakes that it is better to avoid in order not to see wasted commitment, talent, and economic resources.
Every year, every month, every day on the market new products are launched. Most of these will not succeed, some will not come into production and many will see the sunset in the short term. If you are thinking about launching a new product on the market take a few minutes and find out what mistakes to avoid.
1- The process is not linear
Rushing and skipping steps is never a good idea!
The launch of a new product on the market must include three distinct phases which are the prelude to the next one. The logical and linear process involves a pre-launch phase of the product, a launch phase, and a post-launch phase.
The pre-launch serves to create anticipation of what is about to come: to reveal some aspects and functions, to publish articles in newspapers and magazines, to create an expectation, desire and curiosity in what is about to (finally) arrive.
The launch is the phase in which the product is available on the market and is accompanied by a huge event, a meeting with the press, directed on social channels and this is the moment in which we tend to entice the user as much as possible to the purchase, not to lose the opportunity to be among the first to have it.
The last phase, the post-launch phase, is the one in which the emphasis is placed on dedicated offers and promotions, success stories are told and all the marketing strategies useful to build customer loyalty are put into practice.
The biggest mistake that you can make when launching a new product is to skip a phase or not respect the linearity of the process, starting with a press conference without having created suspense and desire for the product, or attack the market with offers and promotions without having conveyed to the customer the right value of the product and its importance in everyday life. Needless to say, this results in a resounding failure.
2- Marketing and Research&Development work on parallel tracks (and never meet).
They’re all good but if they don’t interact they’re useless to you.
They are two fundamental sectors in a company, especially for the launch of a new product. They have to work by interfacing with each other. Marketing has to make clear what the needs and demands of the market. The Research and Development department has to make sure that these demands are met by including those peculiarities that are necessary for the product.
It is unthinkable, as often happens, that the two realities work without ever meeting each other: what comes out otherwise is something that has no usefulness and does not meet the needs of potential customers. Result? It may be a cool product but it will remain there gathering dust.
3- Think about the target
When everything means nothing
Creating a product that works for everyone means creating something that no one needs. The basic rule is that “less is more”. Accurately identify who you want to address what you have thought, created and commercialized with so many sacrifices and passion. Identify a precise niche and gradually scale the market. The first step to stop your business is thinking of shooting in the pile because someone will buy regardless. And you don’t want that to happen.
4- Choose the wrong market
Somebody’s gonna buy, I can feel it.
After the target, the other mistake to avoid concerns the target market. Thinking of starting with the launch of a product on a global scale is very risky and requires enormous resources. Moreover, with the same age, consumers behave and have different preferences depending on the geographical area.
Another thing not to be underestimated are the “barriers to entry”, because costs have an impact and not little on purchasing decisions. Also here the advice is to choose a well-defined market, circumscribed and slowly conquer the world, in perfect Risk board game style.
5- Last-minute launch planning
What matters is the product, not everything else!
Everything must be done on time. Although this concept may seem like a simple acquisition, one of the factors that often lead to the failure of a new product launch is precisely the wrong launch planning. As mentioned in point one there are phases before and after the launch, that are useful to create desire, and expectation and – subsequently – product loyalty.
Launching it suddenly, at the last moment, just because the product is ready and we’re excited by the idea of starting this new adventure, involves the serious risk that it won’t be perceived by the public as it should be and and everything appears hidden.
6- Marketing and Sales do not talk to each other
The striker may be good, but if he doesn’t have a team…
Again, as we saw with Research and Development, there must be communication between departments. If we imagine the company as a football team, the sales department is the striker team. The ones who puts the ball into the net and brings home the money.
That’s why it’s important to put the tip straight in front of the goal so it can score goals. On the other hand, always using a football metaphor, the striker must be good at not going offside or committing a foul.
It means selling what you have, without promising things that don’t exist or can’t be kept. There’s nothing worse than a customer who’s lost confidence in your brand. For this reason there must be communication, shared strategy, and clear objectives on both sides of the company. There are many players, but the team is unique.
7- Ignore the access threshold
Sometimes it’s more successful who’s copying than who’s creating.
There is one case that is very thoughtful when considering the launch of a new product on the market and it is that of the Israeli entrepreneur Mr. Sherman.
He spent a lot of money to design and create a smartphone cover that had integrated a retractable selfie stick inside. Fantastic! There was nothing like it on the market, so he hit the ground running.
After proposing his idea on some crowdfunding platforms to raise enough money to carry on the project, he realized that, within a few weeks, a Chinese company copied his idea but not only. They had already produced, marketed and sold it at a price five times lower than Mr. Sherman had thought!
The biggest lesson that can be learned is that you must not ignore the threshold. In this case the threshold was the difficulty of a competitor to copy and produce. And it was too low. This allowed the Chinese company to beat Mr. Sherman, leaving him empy-handed.
8- Sell at a price lower than the value of the product
The right value is a serious thing
To think that lowering the price of a product is the best way to grab the market is wrong. This can bring small benefits in a very short period of time but over a medium to a long period brings adverse and undesirable effects.
Lowering the price below the real value of the product means not to give the right importance to the product itself, not to let the customer perceive its value and make it pass for one of those things you can do without.
Now, it is not enough to inflate the price (woe betide you if you do it!) to make it attractive at all costs, but to give the right value accompanied by accurate technical descriptions, influencer reviews that explain the merits and provide all the uses and advantages of the case. This helps your product to conquer the market and grow in turnover.
9- Create false expectations
With this phone, you can also make coffee
Think of the absurdity of the American tourist who arrives at the port of a big city and, once on land, he is stopped by a guy who offers him the latest model of phone worth a thousand euros for only 80 euros.
The tourist is enthusiastic about the deal, he releases without hesitation 100 euros leaving also the tip and leaves with his package all happy and satisfied. Only when he opens it will realize that he paid that amount for a stone or brick. It has created a false expectation (a great deal at a very low price), as well as a scam, and this will lead the customer/tourist to not want to return to that area and even less to conclude other deals with apparently too advantageous offers.
And it doesn’t end there: it will make negative publicity among all his acquaintances, on social networks and dedicated channels. Result: a disaster and suspicion about that sales methodology and the products in question. So, when launching a new product, one of the mistakes to avoid is noting that it does not create false expectations (I know, the comparison is strong but it makes the idea well).
If what you want to sell has precise characteristics and you push on those, don’t invent or promise things it can’t do. Do you remember trust? If it fails you have not only lost a customer, but also everything it can come with it. With technology only one negative review is enough to make your business die.
10- Always choose the same road
Who leaves the old road for a new one…
Ideas on how to advertise, where to do it physically, on which channels, which fairs to participate in, should all always be new and exciting. Instead, for convenience or fear of taking the risk, many managers prefer to attend and offer their products always in the same places, to the same people, with the usual guests and the usual newspapers.
There’s nothing better to kill and get rid of a new product launch than to do the same things because “we’ve always done this” or because “the CEO likes it so much”.
Overcome this obstacle by presenting new, interesting, stimulating launch ideas and – above all – support everything with data, statistics, and risk probability.
This will help you win and overcome the objections of the case and allow the product to achieve all the success it deserves.
To sum up, pay attention to every step and don’t rush: I know you’ve worked hard and want to finally enjoy the fruits of your hard work. But why risk ruining everything to anticipate the launch of a new product?
Choose accurately target and market, and make sure that everything is sold at a price that respects the value of the product. Make sure it does what it is sold for. Make sure there are communication and synergy between the various departments and choose carefully which markets to be present in.
Often the best strategy is to start from a well-defined niche, as the RedBull case teaches us. The well-known energy drink could not compete with the other beverage giants, so it started small, gaining market share day after day and eventually establishing itself worldwide.
Be original in launching the product and remember one important thing: we are people and we sell to other people. So no matter how catchy English terms and particular slang maybe, prioritize simplicity, think about what might surprise you, and propose it to others.
It may sound strange, but the best way to sell a new mattress might be to invade the city with the product and a sign that reminds you that “What’s ruining us is stress. So sit back and enjoy your deserved relax!” Do you have any idea how many people surprised by this trivial but unusual statement will stop to rest, take selfies, post, and share your product?
These ten tips (and mistakes you need to avoid!) can make the difference between success and failure, between a product that everyone wants and one that has barely been named.
That’s why it’s important to get help from professionals who can support you at every stage, give you the best advice and intervene where necessary.
Want to know more? Contact us, we look forward to helping you achieve success and promote your business.