At this point in the economy, there are many individuals who are taking on the long journey of entrepreneurship and deciding to offer a product or service to a specific market place.
Apart from the many challenges that both big and small businesses face e.g cash flow, funding, skills, operations and management etc, all businesses are continually launching products, services, ideas or initiatives to an internal or external audience.
The big question is: how do we successfully launch and maintain the initial results in order to ensure that the new idea is a future winner for the business or organisation?
There are a number of areas that a business should look at when considering launching a new service or product into the marketplace.
“It is important that a good plan has a pre-launch, launch and post-launch maintenance phase”
The following tips can become a support system which will ultimately support the performance of the product or service that is being offered. The true magic of a successful launch of the product lies in the following simple steps:
1. Develop a great product
You often see failure of well-supported products and services in the market. This is due to the fact that it does not deliver on its promise and does not offer a unique solution over and above what clients are currently getting. Be truly unique.
2. Adequately fund the product and service launch
It is important that all necessary activities are included and not neglected as this can affect results.
3. Develop a business strategy for the product
It is important that a company know why they are launching a particular product, and what business objectives it will help it achieve. Then quantify the objectives for assessment of impact of success on the organisation. It is important to establish a sustainable competitive edge for the product i.e distribution channel, price, formulation etc.
4. Create a clear marketing strategy which defines how you will take it to market successfully
This is all about creating a brand/product contact map – clients, associations, suppliers, trade channel, etc, and a clear project plan of the proposition at all levels, until ultimately the buyer. At this stage, it will help to clarify the final price to the consumer and provide a clear outline of where the battle against competitors will be won, or at the very least, bravely fought for.
5. Finalise a solid communications strategy that is aligned with the marketing strategy
Once the framework is pinned down through marketing strategy, then develop communication messages that are single minded and easy to understand to create demand as well as anticipation of the product/service. It is important that a good plan has a pre-launch, launch and post-launch maintenance phase.
6. Create clear milestones for the product/service post launch and corrective action plan based on the potential risks
In simple terms, how do we fix failures/hurdles as we support the product/service.
In conclusion, there are no shortcuts to creating great brands as they are intrinsically linked to the business model. So next time you launch a product/service/idea/initiative – don’t set yourself up for failure by ignoring the basics.
Let’s do great things!
About the author: Karabo Songo is the Group founder and MD of Olive Communications, a full-service strategic communications agency. He is passionate about building innovative marketing businesses and brands within Africa with a difference and grow entities into profitable assets for shareholders. Follow him at on Twitter @ mr_k_s.