How effectively you introduce a product to market determines the success of your brand and your company. You only have one chance to bring the product to market and your introduction has to be impactful to make your product launch successful. There are a few myths about product launch. It is useful to uncover some of them for those of you planning to introduce a new product to market. Here are five myths about how to bring a product to market:
1. A great product will do the work for its launch.
This assumption misses the importance of the product development process—communications and teamwork among sales, engineering, marketing, quality, manufacturing and service teams are key to the success of a product launch no matter how great a product you might have for the market. Not being prepared for potential competitive responses from other companies is a huge risk that won’t be mitigated even if you have a great product, as your competition might be prepared to challenge your work unexpectedly. Thus, don’t assume that having a great product idea is enough in itself and will do the work for you—focus on the entire product development process and do your homework for potential competition challenges.
2. Completion of the product engineering is top priority.
While the engineering of a new product is key and completing that process can contribute to the successful product introduction to market, a better strategy is focusing all product development teams on generating revenue rather than solely on completing product engineering.
3. Product decisions are to be made based on what you have heard that customers want.
Instead of making assumptions about what customers might have shared in terms of their wants and pain points, talk to your customers directly to identify exactly what their needs and challenges are and how your product could address them. Failing to do so is avoiding market research in the first place, which is a key step to take before developing and introducing a product to market.
4. My competition hasn’t done the market research and I am too small to waste time and resources on it.
Just because your competition has overlooked one of the most important steps before developing and introducing a product does not mean that you have to replicate the same mistake. Finding out exactly what your target market wants and needs is crucial. Moreover, continuing the engagement with the customers throughout the product development process is key. Do not assume that your initial market research results are enough and you can simply lock them into your product design and functionality. Customers’ needs and challenges might change over time, which is why continuous engagement with the customer is an integral part of the product development process before the product is even introduced to market.
5. I have a specialized niche market and my clients know where to find me.
Even if you have a very niche market with a loyal customer base, do not assume that customers will come to you immediately upon your product introduction to market. If your product does not meet your customers’ current needs, their loyalty won’t last long and they will quickly shift attention to a product that better meets their desires and expectations. You might even risk losing some of your loyal product followers. The timing of your product launch is crucial as well - if you introduce your new product too early or too late, your loyal clients won’t salvage the situation.
Product launch to market is as intricate and challenging as developing and financing a product. With in-depth market research, continuous customer engagement, and communications among product teams, the chances of a successful product introduction become higher. Identifying the right time to launch is crucial as well and putting all of these aspects together is key. Resist common assumptions and myths about product introduction to market and go through the product development process thoroughly before you are ready to launch.