How to Plan and Manage a Successful Product Launch
Launching a new product is always an exhilarating time. After weeks or even months of grueling deadlines, hours of deep work, series of reviews, and countless reworks, your product is finally ready to be shipped to the end-users. It’s the grand stage (virtual in some cases), where everyone’s efforts pay off.
But then, the reward of work is more work.
Judging by the huge number of products that are launched and then quietly fizzle away into obscurity, successful product launches aren’t the default. They’re the outcome of deliberately planning out a strategy, analyzing it, and then executing it diligently.
You need to launch it in a manner that gets the most attention from the relevant audience. When done right, this helps build momentum and drives your ROI in the right direction. How can you plan the perfect product launch, both strategically and tactically, and get the buzz your product deserves?
Planning a perfect product launch – 3 main steps
Below is a checklist for a successful launch that gets your product fly off the shelf.
Define your USP
Your unique selling proposition (USP) is a breakdown of the problem your product is trying to solve and where it fits into your customer’s life. It is you giving your customers a reason to buy your product and not your competitors’.
Before launching a new product, your product team must get together and define in clear terms what exactly your product is designed to do and what it (or your brand) does differently.
A definite USP helps you:
- Market your product better since it’s clear what it’s supposed to do for the end-user
- Narrow down on your targeting since you know what your product does and doesn’t
Build a launch schedule
Nothing helps convey a better picture of your targets than pinning them to specific blocks of time on your team’s calendar.
As much as possible, create a launch schedule that clearly details when each task will be commenced and how long it’s scheduled to run for. Plan all your launch activities with a project management tool. You can easily create a Kanban board with a card for each task. Inside the cards, add due dates, priority, and assign the right people. This helps the team stay focused on the schedule, resulting in a chaos-free product launch.
Have people accountable for each key result
If you’re looking to drive significant results with your product launch, every part of your launch strategy must be broken into several action items with a member of staff responsible for each one. This makes it easier to track results and have someone responsible for each key point when it’s time to review your outcomes.
Get the creatives done
Investing in quality creative collateral gives you a way of staying visible and pronounced in your niche. If you get your branding and creatives done right, you can rise above the noise and stay visible in the crowd. Otherwise, if your customers can’t distinguish your brand from rest, it’s going to be hard building brand awareness that’ll sustain your product.
Check out how Kissflow Project can help project management for creative teams.
Build anticipation for your launch
While it’s great to launch your product with a blast, it always helps if you already have a network of engaged followers who’re expecting your product.
Whether with an extensive beta program or a waitlist, building anticipation for your launch helps you give future users a glimpse of what your product has to offer so you can quietly build momentum before you launch.
Be active on social media
To leverage social media for your product launch, you must:
- Identify where your ideal users are at. e.g. more techie and startup enthusiasts can be found on Twitter than many other platforms
- Create a social media plan
- Post consistently to generate traction
- Keep your social media family engaged on your product journey
By staying visible on the platforms where your potential users are, you increase your chances of drawing their attention and driving user growth once you launch.
Check out how Kissflow Project can help marketing project management better.
Stress-test your website and customer support
With the launch of a new product, you can safely assume there are going to be a ton of questions, inquiries, and suggestions. The traffic to your website is also bound to increase manifold.
Ensure your sales and customer support teams are ready to take on the sudden influx of customer requests. Being prepared for this will display professionalism and leave a good first impression.
Build necessary help documentation
Your target users are interested in how your product is going to change their lives and they are going to have several questions about your product. Think about the most common questions and build an FAQ page so as to not overwhelm your customer support. You should also build a help guide and a knowledge base so users and customers can easily find the answers to those questions.
Make sure there’s a system to handle bugs and issues
Make sure you have a dedicated system for tracking bugs and moving them to your core product team to begin working on.
When you’re launching a product, there’s really no need to reinvent the wheel. A product launch template makes the process a coherent and low-stress one for you and your team since you already have an outline of what to implement with modifications to suit your situation. You can save time and resources by having a ready-made, actionable blueprint that’s been tried and tested during several successful launches.
2. During launch
Double down on media opportunities
Your launch strategy must include a detailed media outreach plan that’s designed to get your product featured on any outlet where your ideal prospects visit often. You also will have to prepare a press release and a release blog. This offers another lucrative opportunity to spread the word about your product beyond your initial network.
Keep communication clear
At every stage of communication in the product launch process, members of the team must be clear on:
- What exactly they’re been asked to do
- How long each task should take
- How their output impacts the bigger picture
Clear communications make it easier to focus on the appropriate tasks and achieve them on target since there’s less back and forth. In Kissflow Project, every piece of project communication is contextual. You can provide comments and feedback and collaborate within a single tool.
Spread the word to your network
Leveraging your personal network is a low-hanging fruit you can take advantage of, especially if you know any industry influencers or authority figures that can help drive buzz with their recommendations. Submit your product to review sites, niche news sites, and other places.
Analyze your performance
When the dust’s settled, it’s important that you and your time sit back and take time to analyze your strategy. This helps you uncover what worked, what didn’t, and identify actionable key points for future launches.
Keep the momentum going
After the product is launched, it’s okay to kick up your legs and take a well-deserved rest.
But while you’re at it, you must remember to keep the fire burning by:
- Building out more features for your product
- Engaging customers on a regular basis
- Analyzing your product non-stop to discover areas where you can improve
Manage your product launch with Kissflow Project
Kissflow Project is designed to help you:
- Break your product launch into tasks
- Assign, track, and manage tasks so your team can stay on the same page
- Manage your work and communication in one place
Kissflow Project removes product launching chaos and makes it easier to succeed since it automates much of the manual work you’d have done in excel. It’s free for 10 users. Take it for a spin today.
- The Complete Guide to Managing Successful Marketing Campaigns
- Creating an Actionable Marketing Editorial Calendar – A Step by Step Guide
- Integrating OKRs with Project Management for Improved Team Performance
- Implementing Agile in Marketing – A Complete Guide