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Product Launch

Updated on April 18, 2024
Article byRutan Bhattacharyya
Edited byRutan Bhattacharyya
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

Product Launch Meaning

Product launch refers to a coordinated effort of an organization to introduce an updated or new product in the market. Its purpose is to ensure all members of the organization, target customers, and partners know about the product. Moreover, this planned effort aims to generate demand and increase brand awareness. 

Product Launch

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If a company fails to launch a product effectively, it may fail to achieve its profitability and revenue goals. A successful launch creates anticipation for a product. Moreover, it attracts the right customers and improves the organization’s reputation in the industry. Such an organized effort can be of three types — minimal, soft, and full-scale launch. 

Key Takeaways

  • Product launch refers to the process a business carries out to bring a new product to the market. Some key goals of the effort are to build awareness concerning the product and generate demand to boost the offering’s sales.
  • When a business hosts a product launch, the product is not technically ready for use, unlike in the case of a product release. 
  • Planning, implementation, and analysis are the three stages of such a planned effort. 
  • Some product launch ideas that can be useful are launch events, unboxing campaigns, and webinars. 

Product Launch Explained

Product launch refers to a process that involves a business introducing a new product in the market. Typically, the key goals of this planned effort are to increase revenue, improve the business’s reputation, determine the right product-market fit, acquire new customers, and build product awareness. Organizations may also opt for this process to gain more market share. Generally, the planned effort involves the collaboration of sales teams, product development experts, and marketing teams. Moreover, there are three product launch stages. Let us look at them in detail. 

#1 – Planning

In this stage, product teams establish goals, align expectations, research the competition and audience, and formulate the marketing strategy. Moreover, the launch team collaborates with product developers to create a timeline for the launch and figure out the product’s key marketable components. 

#2 – Implementation

The second stage involves the formal release of the product. It includes the actual release day and the succeeding marketing efforts to keep the buzz alive throughout the subsequent weeks. Also, in this stage, the accumulation of marketing and product data takes place, which eventually helps determine the launch’s success. 

#3 – Analysis 

In the final product launch stage, the product teams carry out a comparison gathered during the analysis stage and figure out if the company was able to meet the goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) because of the launch. 

Planning an extensive launch launch requires an organization to invest a significant amount of time and labor. That said, typically, product-centric businesses find such moves worth the effort. After all, it can help the company acquire the right type of customers if carried out effectively. This, in turn, improves the adoption rate and enables the business to earn a quick return on their investment about the development of the product.  

Checklist

Common action items in a launch checklist are as follows: 

  • Define the audience 
  • Solidify brand positioning 
  • Ensure the team implements the strategic vision defined in the product-related roadmap
  • Test and check whether the product meets the requirements and the specific quality standards
  • Draft and distribute marketing and sales collateral 
  • Provide training to the sales team so that they are well aware of all aspects related to the product 
  • Complete the technical and support documentation of the product 
  • Let all members of the organization know about the launch
  • Create and review the overall customer journey about purchasing the product, ensuring that the entire process is hassle-free 
  • Create a plan to monitor user behavior and accumulate feedback from the product’s early users
  • Identify the metrics the organization will utilize to determine the launch’s failure or success 
  • Ensure to prepare a strategy to address potential issues in advance 
  • Prepare all team members for the launch day by providing them with clearly defined roles and responsibilities so that they can communicate with customers efficiently

Types

Let us look at the different types of launches in detail.

  • Full-Scale Launch: Such a launch can be ideal when a business wants the new or updated offering to have the widest possible reach. Such a coordinated effort aims to capture the maximum number of customers, typically through the usage of a multifaceted marketing strategy
  • Soft Launch: This type of launch is suitable when organizations want to launch their product with little to no fanfare. This is because it involves introducing a product through a straightforward email campaign or simply word-of-mouth. Although a business might restrain its outreach when adopting this approach, it can still spread sufficient awareness among noteworthy stakeholders to ensure a successful campaign.
  • Minimal Launch: This type of planned effort can be a suitable option if organizations wish to initiate a targeted, subtle launch plan. In other words, when taking this approach, businesses strictly define the target market, abstaining from wide-reaching events. 

Strategies

Some key strategies businesses can utilize to launch new products are as follows: 

  • Create a plan for the product launch that covers everything from the design to the sales tracking phases. Also, a business needs to include all the right people, not just product managers. 
  • Focus more on the consumers rather than the consumers by explaining how the new or improved product impacts them. 
  • Get thought leaders, including bloggers, on board before the launch. If a business manages to begin to work with the media before the launch, it can help create a buzz around the launch. 
  • Transform the launch of the product into an exciting event. For example, if an organization has an adequate budget, it can arrange for a press event. Alternatively, a business can do a small online event if the budget is low. 
  • Another strategy involves drawing out suspense for as long as possible. For example, a business can announce the launch of a much-anticipated product but reveal very few details regarding it. This can create a lot of buzz around the launch, which can attract a large portion of the consumers interested in the same product category. 

Some useful product launch ideas businesses can utilize with the above strategies include the following:

  • Influencer partnerships 
  • Social media contests 
  • Launch events 
  • Referral programs 
  • Webinars 
  • Partnership marketing 
  • Email marketing campaigns 
  • Unboxing campaigns 

Examples

Let us look at a few product launch examples to understand the concept better. 

Example #1 

Suppose Company ABC, a motorcycle manufacturer, announced that it would introduce a new 650cc motorcycle that would be able to reach 120 kph within 3.5 seconds. Moreover,  in the press release, the company announced the product launch date and said that the product will have more than 10 segment-first features. This created a lot of buzz among motorcycle enthusiasts. 

The company got in touch with various media houses to promote the product. The media coverage created additional hype and improved the company’s brand image before the launch. As a result, the company was able to generate demand for the new product at the start of the sales, which, in turn, provided a significant boost to its overall revenue. 

Example #2

In February 2024, Tecno, a global innovative smartphone brand, announced that it would introduce the  TECNO PolarAce Imaging System, which will be the organization’s first imaging system that features an imaging chip. This system will be introduced in the forthcoming CAMON 30 series. It will utilize artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to enable video capturing of the highest quality, which will be a game changer for the industry. 

Product Launch vs Product Release

The terms product release and launch can be confusing for individuals hearing them for the first time. One can clear their doubts concerning these concepts by going through their differences below: 

Product Launch Product Release 
The product is not ready for use. In the case of a release, the product is ready for use. 
Organizations carry out this process to let the world know of the product. Businesses conduct a product release to maintain or improve an existing product’s reliability and functionality.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why do product launches fail?

There are various reasons why product launches fail. Some of them are as follows:

– Bad product-market fit
– Staunch competition
– Unfulfilled customer requirements
– Inability to understand the target market

How long does a product launch last?

On average, the entire process from pre-launch to post-launch ranges from 6 months to 1 year.

How do you know if a product launch is successful?

Businesses can know whether their product launch is successful by observing the following key metrics:

– K-factor
– Social media engagement rate
– The total number of customers paying for the product
– Customer retention rate
– Revenue
– The total number of pre-launch signups
– Conversion rate
– Email open rate
– Clickthrough rate

What to do after the product launch?

After the launch of a product, all businesses need to collect feedback from customers and other stakeholders. Then, they must analyze the feedback to understand how the product is perceived and whether it is valued. Also, the analysis can help identify the opportunities and issues related to the product.

This article has been a guide to Product Launch and its meaning. Here, we explain its strategies, checklist, examples, types, & differences with product release. You may also find some useful articles here –

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