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There are many ways to go about launching a new product, and there are many ways to fail before you even get off the ground. It’s not a myth that most new businesses fail. From funding troubles to challenges in connecting with the market, there are numerous dangers waiting for both entrepreneurs and product managers.
However, there are some best practices for creating a successful product launch. Here are five of them.
Know your market
Large companies spend as much time studying the marketplace as they do in research and development on the product. In the build-up to a product launch, they often spend as much on promoting the product as they do on manufacturing it. It’s like the old adage: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” When it comes to getting a product out there, what you’re selling isn’t nearly as important as how you’re selling it.
Whether it’s yours or your boss’s, expectations for the success of a new product can be huge. When you’re the one bringing the product out, you have to be its biggest fan, but you also have to be realistic about what is likely to happen when you start selling it. If expectations are too high, then even a strong launch can feel like a letdown, robbing a good product that would likely bring solid returns of its euphoric support.
Get known in the industry
Most entrepreneurs focus exclusively on getting their product known to customers, but it’s equally important for it to be known to other participants in your industry. This is why so many new products are launched at trade shows, even when the trade show doesn’t have a lot of customers for the product. For the cost of a trade show booth, it’s possible to get the product known in your industry in a matter of days.
Cultivate the press
It’s not enough to hire some PR manager to put press releases out on PR Newswire. You have to cultivate relationships with reporters who will write about your product because for all your PR efforts the only way to get a lot of print is to get a little print. At some point in your entrepreneurial adventure you’re going to have to crawl on your belly like a worm: your interactions with reporters are as good a place to start as any.
This is an especially important tip for millennials who are launching products for the first time. Modesty has become such an important ethic, and we tend to play it cool rather than shout to the rafters about what we’re selling. But successful launches require a loud voice. You need to be like Paul Bettany’s Chaucer in “A Knight’s Tale,” immodestly shrieking hyperbole from every table you can claw your way up on.