Bringing a new product to market can be daunting. Whether you are an established business with a successful line of products already, or just starting out in retail, there is no guarantee that your product will be a success. Although you can never know exactly how many sales it will generate or how much it will resonate with customers, there are several steps you can take before the launch that will stack the deck in your favor.
Before you unveil your new product to the world, here are some tried and tested techniques to help you get the highest return on your investment.
1. Set Goals
The very first step in launching a product is to set some goals for the launch. Creating SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-Sensitive) goals right at the start will keep you focused throughout. These goals could be anything from getting your product in a certain number of stores, boosting brand awareness, or generating a particular amount of sales. Everything you do before, during, and after the launch should be done with these goals in mind.
2. Do Your Research
Before you take your product to market, you need to do your best to make sure it’s what your customers want and that it is the best possible version of the product. As with any business endeavor, launching a new retail product requires extensive research to get it right. Carrying out market research will allow you to collect crucial data and customer insights to determine what direction you take your product in.
Has it been done before?
It sounds obvious, but you should thoroughly research the market for other similar products. Make sure yours offers new and improved value rather than merely reinventing the wheel. Talk to people in your target market and get their opinions on your product and how it would benefit them. They may offer solutions for how to improve it or market it better.
3. Be Smart with Branding
An effective creative strategy is essential to ensure your product takes off—first impressions matter. Customers will form an immediate opinion on your product based on the name and how it looks. For this reason, you must create a strong brand that is consistent across all aspects of the product from packaging to marketing.
The words and visuals must be perfect in order to entice consumers. This includes the product itself, the logo, packaging, graphics, and marketing materials such as posters, adverts, and billboards. Think about the colors involved and how these can have a psychological impact on consumers. It seems strange, but colors do affect how consumers perceive brands, and they can influence purchasing decisions. Think about your messaging and how you can use your color scheme to put this across in your branding. For example, blue is often used to create a sense of trust, while red can be used to convey excitement and youth appeal.
It’s clear that branding is a crucial part of a successful product launch, so work with a graphic designer and a retail packaging supplier who can help you achieve your branding goals.
4. Create a Buzz
Now that you have finalized your product and its branding, it’s time to get people ready to buy before the launch. It’s not enough to simply release your product out into the world and hope someone snatches it up. You need to create some buzz beforehand to build suspense and get people excited about what is coming.
You may want to announce the product in advance or give people a sneak peek to keep them guessing. Perhaps share some behind the scenes snaps or teaser photos that just show a glimpse of the product. To build a sense of urgency, you could install a countdown timer on your website or use digital signage to display a physical countdown in store. This will keep people on the edges of their seats in anticipation of what you are about to release
5. Focus on Marketing
Before, during, and after the product launch, you will need to rely heavily on effective marketing to get the word out about your product. There are several different marketing formats you can use to boost your product’s profile. Use email marketing to inform your customer lists about your new product and give them contextual information about it. Creating high-quality content to post on your website and social media is also crucial. Most importantly, drill into the buyer personas of your target customer and focus your marketing on the platforms where they are most likely to be active.
6. Build Influencer Relationships
One technique many brands use to create awareness around a product launch is to make use of influencers. An influencer can be a blogger, a YouTube star, or any kind of online celebrity who may be willing to partner with your business to promote your product to their large following. Some influencers may be willing to promote your brand in exchange for a free product, whereas more renowned celebrities will most likely have a set rate for promotional services. Today’s consumers rely heavily on referrals and word of mouth advertising to make product decisions, so influencer marketing can be a hugely effective promotional strategy.
7. Get It Out There
A surefire way to build brand awareness is to get your product in front of as many eyes as possible. Display your product prominently in-store or make appearances at industry events to promote and let people try it. Depending on the product, you may be able to give away free samples in your online or offline store or run competitions to get people interested and reach new customers.
8. Track Your Success
After you launch your product, you should not be sitting back and resting on your laurels. You will need to continually track and measure the success of your product launch and make adjustments if it does not hit the desired targets. If you do not see the results you’d like, don’t be afraid to tweak aspects of your product, packaging, or marketing strategy.
Launching a new product is a huge step for any business, and by following this advice, you will ensure you maximize brand awareness, sales, and customer satisfaction.