Whether you are a brand-new entrepreneur starting with your first business idea or a seasoned small business leader looking to grow your offerings, you should know that there is definitely a right way to launch a new product or service. Audiences tend to become accustomed to a certain type of product or service, especially from brands they already know. So, business leaders need to be careful about introducing new offerings, as they may impact how an audience perceives a brand.
Fortunately, you don’t have to guess about the best way to launch a new product or service. Here is a step-by-step guide to make it easier to grow your business and expand your brand.
Define the Target Audience of Your New Product or Service
A new product or service is worthless if there is not a sufficiently large audience eager to acquire it. Defining your target audience will help you understand whether there is enough demand to warrant the development of a new product or service, and it will give you insights into what your audience needs in terms of product/service design, price point, marketing channels and more.
Research Your Audience’s Buying Journey
A member of your audience experiences a problem, and the journey they engage in to solve their problem should end with the use of your product or service. To guarantee that ending, you need to understand the journey: How does your audience get information? What influences your audience’s purchasing behavior? What kind of buying experience does your audience expect? Answering these questions should give you direction for how to launch your product or service.
Fully Secure the Identity of Your Product or Service
You need to give your product or service a distinctive name, and you need to protect that name from use by your competition. To start, you should look into how to trademark a name to cover the branding of your new product or service. As it could take a few months for your trademark to be secure, in the meantime you should acquire domain names, social media accounts and other assets with your product or service name. The sooner you can get these, the better, though you may need to pay a premium if you are operating in a competitive market.
Look Into Your Existing and Prospective Competition
Many companies opt to fall in line with trends, choosing to copy the branding of the most popular products and services in their industry. However, not only does this “me too” behavior risk infringement lawsuits, but it fails to differentiate a company from its competition. You should research your competitors and try to innovate where they align. Additionally, you should make sure that your new product or service is indeed novel, which can contribute to your selling proposition.
Start Pitching Your New Product or Service ASAP
You want feedback on your new product or service as soon as possible, so you can make changes to your offering that better meet your audience’s needs. To attract early users, you might offer your product or service as a free trial, sample or demonstration, from which you can receive ratings or reviews to affect development. You can also incentivize early use with discounts for preorders, beta participation rewards and more. Not only will this help you refine your product or service, but it will start to build audience anticipation for the eventual launch.
Continue Testing Your New Product or Service
You should continue testing your new product or service regularly, scrutinizing your offering for bugs, up until the day of its launch — and even afterwards. Testing should be rigorous, often resulting in damage, which you can then learn how to fix. Though testing can be frustrating, it is essential for creating the user experience you expect to deliver.
Upgrade Your Product or Service to Keep It Fresh
By this step, you should have already completed your product or service launch — congratulations! But, your work is far from over. To maintain excitement around your offering, you need to regularly upgrade it with new features or functions. Then, you can keep your product or service feeling fresh for years to come.
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