This is a guest post by Amanda Green.
On the surface, it seems like product launches consist of three steps: think up the product, make the product, and launch it to the public. The truth is that there is a lot more work that goes into it than that, which involves anticipating the future, foretelling how a product will be received on the market. It’s not so mystical as say hiring a psychic to predict market fluctuations, although there are companies that actually do this. Realistic foretelling of the future involves thinking and acting precisely. Here are some of the things that you need to do if you want to set your product up to succeed.
Here is the sad truth: chances are high that someone has had the same idea you’ve had before. This is why, as soon as you start to take your idea seriously, you need to go into research mode. You don’t just need to find out whether the product already exists. You need to look up patents, trademarks, copyrights, etc. It’s important to do this for every product that even remotely resembles yours. This isn’t just for your protection. It’s to help you figure out how to make your product the absolute best product on the market.
You need to test your product before you start marketing it to the public or attempting to launch it for sales revenue. There are a few phases to this.
1. Prototype testing
Make several different models of the product you want to launch. These are called prototypes. Bring people to, for lack of better word, play with your prototypes and then ask them what they think. Track their responses to each prototype, positive and negative. Use their feedback to inform the next round of product prototypes. Repeat this cycle until you’ve got a single product that is free of bugs, glitches or problems.
2. Product Honing
Once you’ve got a prototype that is functional and without major bugs, create a few variations of this finalized prototype and run through the testing process again. You can help yourself with this process if you bring in groups both from your original prototype testing sessions and brand new eyes.
3. Run the Numbers
Trying to pick a price point can be difficult, particularly with markets being as volatile as they are. You need to do more than just a simple Excel sheet projection to figure out how your product is likely to sell given what you know about your market, the current economy, etc. Profit Stars asset liability management team recommends running a variety of different scenarios to help you get the fullest picture of your product’s projected success…which, unless you’re a mathematician is probably something you’ll want to hire a professional to help you do.
Get It Out There
It’s okay to do a soft launch of a product to get an idea of how it will perform within the real world. Soft launches are a great way to get independent feedback and to test market response. You can also use this time to properly market the product for a “real” and “hard” launch on a future date. This is another area where it is helpful to hire professionals. A marketing firm can help you pick a date and make sure that a good amount of buzz and anticipation is built up for your product so that, when it hard launches, it will bring in a large sum of money. Even better, professional marketers will know how to help you sustain the buzz surrounding your product launch long after the launch has actually taken place.
Unfortunately, as far as we know, nobody is able to accurately predict the future, though as stated before, some companies do test the waters with psychics. The real way to foretell the future is to do your research and testing correctly. If you do, there’s no reason to believe that the product you dream up can’t be launched successfully and profitably.