How to prepare for your product launch
You’ve thought up a fantastic idea, spent months developing the perfect product and now it’s time to reveal it to the world. Planning a product launch can be a daunting prospect, with so many assets to prepare and outcomes to plan for. However, with the help of a marketing agency, you can sit back and let the experts prepare and execute the perfect take-off.
In this first instalment of a two-part blog series, we’ll run you through everything you need to prepare for your product launch. Look out for part two in the series where we’ll discuss the execution of your product launch and post-launch activities.
At redPepper Marketing, we’ve helped a range of our clients launch new products, services and campaigns. No matter how big or small your project, we’re here to help! For more information about our work or to enquire about how we can help your business, get in touch with us today on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t run before you can walk!
It’s an age-old saying, but “Don’t run before you can walk” is important to keep in mind as you plan your product launch. Let’s start by saying that we understand how it feels. You’ve developed an amazing product and you’re raring to go! However, if you’re too hasty, your launch can feel rushed and your team unprepared. This could be damaging to your success in the long run.
Before you decide on a launch date, we recommend that you evaluate your market and the wider industry. Is now the best time for your potential customers to hear about your new product? For example, if you’re a flip flop company selling the newest innovation in summer footwear, launching in November is likely a bad time!
You should also keep an eye on any direct competitor’s marketing at this time to avoid any clashes or similarities. Whilst some friendly competition might help your sales, you don’t want to come in second-best or look like you’ve copied them. Make sure that you set yourself apart and focus on your USP!
It’s all in the schedule
Once you’ve settled on the best time of launch for your product you can begin to put together a launch schedule. Before we explain how you might do this, there are a few terms that you should know:
Soft Launch: Releasing a product ahead of its scheduled launch with little or no marketing push.
Hard Launch: Releasing the completed product with a big marketing push. The “Official Launch”.
There is no set way to create your launch schedule however, we would recommend settling on a ‘hard launch’ date and working backwards. Typically, we suggest at least one week between the soft and hard launch but often longer. In this period, you will be able to detect any faults or issues with your product and rectify where necessary. How long you leave between the soft and hard launch might depend on the likelihood of faults emerging with your product.
If you haven’t already done so, during the soft launch period, you may ask friends, family or even trusted customers to test your product. This can help you detect any small flaws that need correcting. It can also be a good time to begin forming a customer base and gain some testimonials which are a great trust signal for any product launch!
Depending on your product, budget, and preferences, you may choose to take your new business venture to the press. If this is the case, you will need to prepare a robust PR strategy designed to help external bodies, such as journalists, newspapers and influencers make their audience aware of your product.
Your PR strategy will be made up of a variety of assets and pieces of research to help ensure a smooth-sailing hard launch. Let’s run through some of the assets you can prepare:
Oxford Languages defines a press release as ‘an official statement issued to newspapers giving information on a particular matter’. In our digital age, we can extend this not just to newspapers but also social media coverage and online news journals.
Your press release should first and foremost include the “who, what, why, when, where and how” of your new product. You should keep in mind your audience, e.g. the type of journalist you’re talking to, and how you can make the content appealing to them. The middle chunk of the content should focus on your USP and setting yourself apart from anything they’ve seen before. Finally, the last few sections can focus on your business and provide the journalist with some information about the people behind the product.
A successful product launch is a well-prepared product launch, so give yourself plenty of time to prepare your press release.
Once your press release is prepared and ready to go, you should put together a list of appropriate media contacts such as journalists, influencers and other social media users with a following akin to your ideal demographic.
Whilst we would recommend creating a comprehensive list of contacts, ensure that these contacts are relevant and appropriate. If your new product is situated within the food industry, you don’t want to be sharing your press release with a journalist based in technology!
When the time is right for your hard release, you can share your press release with these contacts via social media (we recommend Twitter), or email.
Top tip: Put together a spreadsheet with the appropriate information of your media contacts. Include their Twitter username, email address and anything else you can use to personalise your messaging!
Prepare a list of questions and answers
You know your product better than anybody which will put you in a great position to tackle any difficult questions that might come your way. However, to avoid any uncomfortable conversations, we’d recommend preparing a list of expected questions and answers.
One of our favourite sayings here at redPepper is “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. We hope that this first part of our product launch blog series has helped guide your preparation for the launch of your new business venture. Keep an eye out for our second blog post where we’ll discuss the marketing assets we recommend for hard launch day as well as some post-launch hints and tips.
If you’d like some additional advice or help with your next product launch, we’d love to hear from you! Contact us on email@example.com for more information about our marketing services.