You had a great business idea and you set up your own company to realize the vision you had.
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You even conceptualized the product you want to sell to the world and got the necessary work done to execute it. But are you ready to introduce your product? What are the measures you have taken to guarantee a successful launch?
The pre-launch period is a crucial one, and hence it requires a lot of your time and effort. When you start planning on how to enter the market, start with the assumption that you have no clue on how customers will react to your product. Do not assume or predict customer behavior.
Conduct an exhaustive market research to find out what are the preferences of your target audiences. Do a SWOT analysis and study your competitors. Compare your products with those already available in the market to identify the pros and cons in your product. Create a report that summarizes your market and customer research, before the execution of product development.
Remember that, these days, most established companies also depend on creating new products to survive in the industry. Hence it is imperative to understand and present your product's unique value proposition in a clear and concise manner. Don't try to sell your 'vision' to people. Instead give them what they are looking for, even if it means tweaking your product a bit to cater to customer needs. It is always better to start simple and then add on features as your customer base grows, as people would not know how to use the complex features of the iPhone, if they were not aware of the simple mobile phone.
While the product is being developed, create some innovative marketing strategies. This can include planning for the launch and advertising the upcoming product. Spread the buzz around the product to create an aura of interest and curiosity among people. Use the various social networking sites, blogs and other online marketing tools to inform people about the 'coming soon' product.
If the product is targeted for a smaller or local audience, online promotions may not be the right choice. In such cases, rely on the traditional yet effective means of promotion, namely, word of mouth, newspapers or ads on TV. It is a good idea to send out these ads in stages. You could start a month before your actual launch date, then send another ad, say maybe, two weeks later. This will retain the curiosity till the D-Day.
It is not enough to test the working of your product internally before it goes live. In order for the product to sell, you should also test your marketing tactics to a smaller group of the target audience and gauge their responses, well ahead of the actual roll out campaigns. This helps you to chalk out mistakes, if any, in your original marketing strategy.
During the launch, remember to produce the product in sufficient quantity, with the required standards and at reasonable prices. Remember that this is the first impression of your product to the outside world. So make it last long! Hold a launch event with maximum coverage. Provide discount coupons and similar offers on the inauguration day to attract customers. All through the campaign, closely monitor customer reactions and ask for feedback.
Further improvements on the product or its marketing should be based on the performance of the initial launch. Although the life of a product in the market, depends upon many other factors, a bad introduction can cause a huge setback to the product in the minds of its consumers.