Many businesses know they need to expand their product portfolio to continue to grow. Whether your company is large or small, your product or service offering will need to diversify over time for you to remain competitive. Most of us know the feeling of a competitor on our heels. They see what we do and strive to do it better. Offering a new product can be a great way to increase sales and keep your existing customer base happy.
Of course, it takes a lot of research and development to get your product ready for launch. Extensive testing and even patents may be needed long before you consider putting your new project in front of a paying customer. But that day will be here. The moment all your hard work and effort starts to pay for itself and turn a profit. So what does it take to launch a new product?
Many companies like to push a lot of advertising at the time of launch. This can be a good idea, but it can also be expensive. Instead, why not look to social media? You can deliver personalized messages direct to your current customer base. And you can promote your new offering to groups of users interested in that type of product. Best of all, it’s free. Sure, it may take a bit of time on your part, but it gets the message to the people most likely to be interested.
The message you deliver should be staggered. Start with a teaser or two to pique their interest. Your web link should offer all the details needed for a customer to make an informed choice about your product. Detail the benefits of your new offering. Perhaps you can offer an introductory discount to customers? Maybe you could lead them to other, fun ways to find out more?
A launch event is a great way to drum up some positive PR for your new product. It is also a good way to reinforce your brand values. Use a company like Dynamic Gift to brand or personalize some merchandise for giveaways. Things like wristbands leave a lasting impression on customers. It helps them remember you and keep your brand in their mind for longer.
Events should be memorable. They should offer visitors, guests and attendees and experience and fun. You can also use them as an opportunity to meet and greet customers, investors and trade press. Lots of these people will share their experiences on social media too. This is key to expanding your reach. Free drinks and refreshments can help encourage attendees to stay longer. This means you can increase your chance of connecting with them. After all, you want them to buy and endorse your new product.
Some businesses hire entertainers and performers to make the event more of a spectacle. Lights and music can also go a long way to creating a fun, party mood. Bear in mind the purpose of your product. What are the emotions that your product is supposed to create? If it’s a domestic appliance, chances are you want it to appear the easier alternative to a competitor’s product. So make sure everything at your event comes across as easy going.
A launch party or event is only one part of the marketing strategy you need to adopt. To successfully launch a new product, you will need to keep the excitement and hype going. Offer discounts. Find ways to engage social media followers. Competitions are a good way to do that. Giveaways can help too. Are there any bloggers that are willing to review your product? Bloggers are often followed by tens of thousands of like-minded readers who could be persuaded this way.
Your product should have a unique selling point. Perhaps it solves a problem, or it does something better than any other. Talk about this in interviews whenever you can. Find forums that discuss these issues, and offer some advice with a link to your product. Make use of local media in your home town. As a local entrepreneur, your home newspaper and radio station may be keen to talk to you about your success. After all, you are contributing to the local economy and supporting local employees.
As well as a product page and a launch page on your website, consider starting a blog there too. The more articles you write that feature your new product, the better. You can also submit articles to online and print magazines. Press releases about new product launches aren’t always picked up, but it can be a huge boost to sales if you can.
Where can customers buy your product? If you only sell direct, why not consider other channels to market? Do you have a retail outlet? These can be expensive. But if you have several products, it might be worth testing the viability of a local outlet. Big retailers in your market may be another option. Consider the RRP carefully when you approach a reseller, though. Depending on the product, you may need to reduce your price considerably to cater for their markup.
Finally, consider the people selling your product. Think about your customer service team. Have they been fully briefed and trained? Customers can get very frustrated when your company representatives can’t help them. This is especially true when they can’t give them details about the product. Your packaging might be quite detailed. And maybe your instruction manual is clear. But there will always be customers who want to speak to a real person before they make their purchase decision.
Training staff can take time, but it’s worth it if those customer contacts result in sales. The after-sales care should also be carefully considered. A loyal customer will always consider your brand for future sales if they’re happy. Part of your launch plan should include training plans and information. This is essential for the people that represent your brand and the product itself.
Launching a new product can take years. And many months of that time will be taken planning the launch marketing strategy itself. There is a lot to consider before the product is available for sale. But with careful planning and focused communications, your product can launch successfully.