Is there really such a thing as an optimal time for a product launch?
Do you have to plan your product launch for an auspicious time when the stars align and fireworks go off in the background?
The answer is yes, and yes. You can optimise your product launch timings to get the best reception from your end users.
Of course, you don’t have to wait for the stars to align, but you can rest assured that your product will create fireworks in the marketplace if you plan your product launch just right.
In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of the pertinent questions to ask when launching a new product and understand when is the best time to launch a new product.
What is a Product Launch?
A product launch is the culmination of a business's planned effort to bring a brand new product to the chosen market and ensure that said product is easily accessible to the intended end users.
Or, simply put, it’s when you show the world your new product and hope they flock outside the gates for a price of the action.
Will your audience love your final product?
Did your preparations pay off?
Are you going to make it in a cutthroat marketplace?
If you plan your product launch well, you can answer all these questions with a single word: yes.
Why is it Important to Time Your Product Launch?
A well-timed product launch can make your business, while a badly timed one can break it. Even if your product is pretty amazing to start with.
Badly timed products were listed among the top 10 reasons startups fail by CBInsights. If you want to know more reasons for startup failures and how to steer clear of those mistakes, take a look at our actionable guide on why startups fail and how to make them successful.
Your product launch is the defining moment for all your months (and perhaps years) of hard work and perseverance. Which is exactly why you need to make sure that your product launch counts.
You only get one chance to make a first impression, so try to impress with your product launch.
Ideally, your product launch preparations must go hand in hand with your product development cycle. That way, by the time you’re ready to showcase your product, your end users will be ready to receive it.
You will need months of preparation (at least) to plan your product launch.
Let’s look at some of the key factors you need to keep in mind at all times when you’re planning your product launch.
1. Product Quality
Your product must be its best version possible before you can present it to your audience.
Consider these questions:
- Is your product fully functional?
- Is your product free of bugs and defects?
- Are there any more ways you can optimise your product?
- Have you taken the necessary precautions to avoid potential threats to your product?
- Would you spend money on your product if you were an end user?
It’s important to ensure that your product quality is at its possible peak before you even think of launching it.
Sub-par products will not get a good reception from your target audience, especially when there are so many tech startups competing to innovative similar ideas.
If you launch a badly-made product, you will be forced to issue a product recall, which is an expensive process.
2. Customer Predilections
You’re creating products for your customers. If they don’t want anything to do with your product, then you might as well start over from scratch. Mull over these questions:
- What are your customers’ preferences?
- Does your product have the features that your target audience is looking for?
- Will you be able to convince your end users that your product will make their lives easier?
- Based on audience research, do you think your users are ready for your product?
Understand your customers and their mindset towards what you have to offer before you consider a product launch.
3. Competitor Product Launches
Yes, it is highly likely that there are other startups working on the same product concept as you are. Which is why you need to do adequate competitor research and also keep yourself up-to-date on their launch plans.
Do you want to be a first-mover?
Being a first-mover will give you a competitive advantage. Your product will be the first in the market and you will be able to cater to a niche demand.
It does come with its share of disadvantages too. If your product lacks necessary features, then your competitors can easily overtake you with a more advanced product.
Alternatively, you can wait for the first-movers to hit the market and work on improving your product while your target users get used to the feel of the product launched by your competitors.
This is a little risky, so you need to be sure that your product can easily overshadow the product launched by the first-movers.
While you don’t want to launch too early, it’s also not a good idea to wait too long.
4. Market Demand
Intensive market research is a prerequisite for any launch parties you plan. If there’s no market demand for your product, then there’s really no point in launching it amidst a big fanfare.
The market demand for the same product changes from time to time, so keep your eye on a good time to pounce!
Let’s look at a simple scenario to elucidate this point.
You decide that your novelty quilted jackets are ready for launch. The design is sleek, the quality of material is impeccable, and the functionality of your product is on point.
If you launch your jacket during the summer holidays, you’ve pretty much set yourself up for failure. Summer is for popsicles and beach vacations.
Your product is certainly desirable, but only during the winter season, when it will be able to serve its functionality.
5. Feedback Loops
Start implementing feedback loops before you start planning your product launch.
This will give you valuable insight on how you can improve your product quality, the right market conditions to launch, and the strategies needed to put your product right at the forefront of shelves (physical or digital).
You can create feedback loops by engaging with your stakeholders through surveys, questionnaires, and even the prototype you created for your product idea.
6. Marketing Strategies
Your product must be launched with as much visibility as possible. Once you have a loyal user base, your product’s quality will be your biggest marketing strategy. But, until users get a feel for your product, you need to market the heck out of it!
It is prudent to note that once you market a launch date, you need to stick to it. If you disappoint your eagerly waiting audience, they might become completely disinterested in what you have to offer.
Keep reading and we’ll give you a few ideas to market your product in accordance with the current user trends.
What Are the Right Questions to Ask When Launching a New Product?
1.Is Your Startup Launch-Ready?
It’s not enough to have a brilliant product that is ready to hit the market. It’s important that your startup is also ready to host a launch party.
- Do you have enough funds to gear up for a product launch?
- If your product is well-received, does your business have the ability to keep up with consumer demands?
- Do you have sufficient investor backing to scale up as and when required?
- Do you have the resources to engage with your users and address all their queries about your newly launched product?
- Is your business prepared to handle all contingencies associated with a product launch?
Launch your product only after ensuring that your business has what it takes to continue without any disruption.
2. Have You Done Enough Research?
There’s no such thing as too much research.
There are different types of research that you will need to undertake before you can be ready for your product launch. These include:
- Market research - Is the market ready for your product?
- Competitor research - What Unique Selling Points will help you stay ahead of the competition?
- Customer research - Who are your target audiences?
- Financial projections - How soon can you break even?
- Marketing Research - How can you increase your brand visibility?
Market research is crucial for a product launch. If you mistime your launch and hit a market that is not ready for your product or is already fully saturated with similar products, your business could get into trouble.
If you want to know how to do a thorough market research before your product launch, read our blog on how to do market research for a business startup.
3. Is Your Product Quality Up To the Mark?
Without a quality product, there is no way you can hope to survive in a marketplace that is already overflowing with tech startups.
If you want to carve a name for yourself in your industry, your product must be beyond reproach.
To understand if your product quality is up to the mark, consider these questions carefully:
- How can you improve your user experiences?
- What new features can you bring to the table?
- How can you innovate your product beyond the ordinary?
4. Is the Marketplace Receptive?
If you understand the importance of market research before launching a new product and you've done your market research well, you already know the answer to this question.
If you’re certain that your product will be in demand, go ahead and plan your product launch.
If you feel the market is not receptive to your product at present, it is best to hold your product for the time being. While waiting for market conditions to become favourable, you can keep innovating and marketing your product.
5. Do You Have the Necessary Funding?
If you don’t have enough money in the bank, stop all your product launch associated work.
You do not want to find yourself short on funds mid-way through a product launch. This will subsequently affect all your business interactions with your end users.
If your audience feels that your product is not backed by good investors, they might lose faith in the product and ultimately, your brand.
To make sure that you manage to convince investors to back your business, go through the vital factors investors evaluate before investing in your startup.
6. Is Your Schedule Accommodating?
Can you be present for everything associated with your launch? Will your schedule allow you to oversee the A to Z of your product launch?
If not, it’s better to postpone your launch till you are sure that you can accommodate all the intricacies of launching a product into your work schedule, as well as your team’s.
Product launches will never be seamless, no matter how much time and effort you pour into the strategizing part. You and your team will have to deal with technical glitches, customer services problems, and a million and one other unpredictable scenarios.
7. Have You Set the Right Launch Conditions?
A scientist wouldn’t launch a rocket into space without providing the optimal launch conditions, right? You should see your product launch the same way.
So, how can you tell if you’ve set the right launch conditions for your product?
Answer these questions after careful consideration:
- Is your brand value noticeable by your audience?
- Have you established yourself as a credible business with a great product?
- Do you have enough funding to keep things running smoothly?
- Is your business ready to handle your sales?
- Are your payment gateways glitch-free and ready to mint money?
- Do you have the necessary logistics for the last-mile of your sales worked out?
- Is your customer service team ready to handle all user concerns?
If you answered ‘yes’ to all these questions, you’ve set the right launch conditions for your product launch. If not, get cracking!
8. Are You Marketing Your Brand the Right Way?
To have a successful product launch, you first need a unique and useful product.
The next thing you need is a fabulous marketing team.
Stay connected to your audience at all times and engage them with your brand in as many ways as possible. In a way, communication is a big part of marketing, and it needs to be two-way.
Tell your users what you can do for them, get their feedback, and implement what they expect of you.
Take a look at some of the popular marketing trends of today:
- Digital marketing
- Content marketing
- Influencer marketing
- Video marketing
- Growth hacking
- Affiliate marketing
- SEO marketing
- Social Media marketing
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but we do not want to digress from our main topic here: what is important when launching a new product?
9. Are There Innovations You Overlooked?
Innovation is a big part of staying relevant in the tech marketplace. With so many new technological advancements hitting the market, you need to be on the lookout for the ones that can improve your product.
To understand how to innovate your product, read our blog on the best strategies to optimise innovation in product development.
10. Are All Your Stakeholders Satisfied?
Your stakeholders include every single person who is committed to your startup success. This means you need to think of your team members and your investors in addition to your end users.
Now, ask yourself this: Is my product ready to see the light of day?
If you are satisfied, proceed! Godspeed!
For every right opportunity to launch your product, there are ten wrong ones. So, you need to analyse your position carefully, align it with the needs of your audience, and then start devising an air-tight launch plan to put your product on the map.
If you are wondering how to successfully launch a new product, reputed tech solutions providers like NeoITO can ensure that your product is ready for the market. Understand what is important when launching a new product, your launch party could raise the roof!
Our experts are waiting with the right tech solutions for your product development and subsequent launch. So, don't hesitate to Contact us now!