Hey, you! Yes, you- the one who has a brilliant product idea in mind but doesn't know how to create a product launch plan for it.
Can your idea fill a gap in the market? Is it something revolutionary? Does it make things better in any way?
Yet, you pause. Perhaps questions like the ones below stopping you?
Is my product marketable? Will it actually bring me profit? What should be my marketing strategy? What media channel should I use for advertisement? Where’s my coffee?!?!
Launching a product within set timelines to capture the market can seem tough. While there are no guarantees, it is still possible to set yourself up for success. We’ve made this guide to help you craft a product launch plan that streamlines your artwork management and do it ahead of your competitors to gain first-mover advantage.
Ready? Let’s go!
7 Steps To Plan Your Product Launch
The legendary boxer in Mike Tyson said, “Everybody’s got a plan until they get punched”. Well, even though you won’t be hurt physically, your mental fortitude will be definitely challenged without a structure in place.
Therefore, First Time Right should be your approach from the start. Make sure that all the activities you carry out are correct from point one. Maintaining a consistent approach towards progress will save you from unnecessary hassles. This will ultimately convert into a successful product launch.
Here’s how to go about it:
1. Plan The Product Layout
The product that you’re looking to sell should have a defined target audience. Once this is defined, you can use your target audience's preferences as a guide for the product launch plan.
Begin by delving into researching the need for your product in the market. What is it that you are offering that is not already present? Is there a lack of this product right now? What is it that they want? How can your product help them? Are your sales estimations reaching the ROI plan? These are some of the basic questions you need to answer.
To serve your target audience you’ve to trail their steps backward and know who they are as a person. Collect information about the following:
- Age, occupation
- Income group
- Preferred leisure activities
- Preferred information sources- both online and offline
- Usage manner of channels
- Pain points and commonly sought out solutions
- Approaches to those solutions
All this information will help to make your ideal customer more real to you and align your product artwork with who they really are. E.g, if your target audience are adults who are looking for eco-friendly products, then your product packaging artwork will have to reflect the same.
2. Map Your Product’s Competitive Landscape
Make sure to research any existing market for whatever you’re bringing out. Why would customers want to switch to you then? If there’s no market, then are you bringing something new to the table?
Talk to industry professionals or colleagues to see what the market is like right now and where your product will fit. Your product might be offering something similar to what already exists. But the differentiating factor will make it stand out. This will be your USP.
Make sure to ask the following questions in the competitor analysis:
- Do their products belong to the low-cost or high-cost category?
- Which channels did they use before, during, and after launch?
- Are franchises, affiliates, and partner re-sellers a part of their program?
- Do they offer any discounts or coupons? Did they do it during the launch?
- Why do customers choose to buy from them?
- Why don’t customers buy from them?
This will help you build what information to display on the product label. Perhaps, your competitors also have similar USPs, then you can differentiate your product by highlighting it on the front of pack label. E.g, a breakfast cereal product label can show nutritional information on the front of the pack.
3. Design Your Product Really Well
Campaign branding and product launch will mark your product’s grand entry in the market. One of the greatest marketing strategies is the presentation, a.k.a. packaging. You need to attract your target audience with how the product looks.
Packaging and branding work together to showcase your product and ensure branding compliance. Innovation in packaging ideas has always ruled the brand recognition strata.
Some examples of advanced packaging which made an impact are:
- Thelma’s Oven-Box
- Butter! Better!
Keep in mind to work on proofing your product’s artwork. The last thing you want for your company is to lose all the time, energy, and money spent to market a product with a typo/misprint on the final package.
Butter! Better! - seems appropriate.
Butter! Booter! - does not!
Bonus: How To Nail The Packaging Game
Since design and packaging are everything when it comes to leaving an impact on customers, you need robust tools and processes to nail the same. One of the easiest ways to do this is through artwork management systems.
With artwork management systems, you can:
- Easily make as many possible packaging designs
- Share them so you can collaborate on the ideas
- Digitally proof them so that there is no error when the final print arrives
- Access past and present design versions
- Grant role-based access to your team and clients
When the beautifully packaged final product arrives, you’ll know: it had a fool-proof artwork management system as its backbone.
4. Give A Free Trial And Demo
Free trials have proven to be an effective way to increase sales in the long run. When you highlight your product’s specialty and offer your TG a free trial, they’ll get tempted to give it a try.
Online media channels like Netflix, Amazon or Spotify have the options for free trials. They back it up by providing stellar service and in the end? 47% end up subscribing to at least one of them and only 1% turn out to be the dreaded abusive trailers.
5. Timing is EVERYTHING
Timing is the ‘key’ when you plan to launch your product in the market. The clock plays a pivotal role to determine the product’s success. Working with numerous teams and assigning work processes to make sure the entire squad is on the same page on time, including essential aspects like label management.
For instance, Patanjali noodles entered the market with quality and lead-free ingredients at a time when Maggie was being bashed for serving lead-laden noodles. The food line got a good jump start by turning Maggie’s bad PR into good PR for themselves.
Successful launches are all about doing the right things at the right time. If you do not, you might miss out on stellar success.
The market research that you carried out in step one will help you decide which time is the right time for your product launch.
6. Make Some Noise Beforehand!
The next step is to finally introduce your product to the target audience.
How to best do this? Take inspiration from Ford. The vehicle manufacturer introduced its new truck model to potential customers in the form of a matchbox.
Truck-buyers of certain blue-collar industries (like an auto-repair or construction company) used to hang out at specific pubs after work. Targeting these potential customers, Ford distributed 5000 such matchboxes at those pubs.
The box had the company’s website address where the curious buyer would check out the features and might opt for a test drive.
The result! *drum-roll please*
“Over 1600 people visited the website, of which 450 booked a test-drive. 300 finally test-drove the car. The Limited Edition Ranger extreme was sold out a month ahead of schedule.”
That, people, is the kind of launch to aim for!
7. Keep Spreading The Word
It’s launch day, and you’re wondering if there are any loopholes to fill up. The anticipation is high and so is fear. Don’t worry! If you follow the steps mentioned, it is more than likely to work out.
The only thing that is left at your end is to make sure you don’t stop spreading the word. Social media, backlinks, SEO, a dedicated YouTube channel, a fun challenge- all these are ways to make sure your word about your new product keeps spreading.
Whether you’re launching a new product as part of your brand extension plan or diving deep into a new market, the success of your product is guaranteed if you have a proper product launch plan.
While we can’t help you with all of the steps, there is one area that Artwork Flow is an expert in and that is the packaging. This is why we have created a cloud platform like Artwork Flow to help brands with their brand asset management design and packaging needs.
Whether it is your first product or 100th, you will be able to ensure that it looks amazing on the outside.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to launch first and launch it while looking good ;) Comment below!