Product Launch | A Success-Driven Strategy

Product Launch

The introduction of a new product usually comes with a whole lot of excitement and euphoria. However, a product launch can be an unnerving moment for businesses, especially for emerging startups.

A product launch can be overwhelming because the long-term success of a product, in some cases, the whole business, depends largely on how well a product is presented to the market.

In this article, we’ll cover the most important components of a successful product launch to guide you through the process.

 

What is a Product Launch?

A product launch can be defined as the planned, coordinated efforts of a business involved in publicizing, marketing, and making a new product available for purchase. Simply put, it involves a company introducing or commercialising a new product to the market.

While at its most basic level a product launch is simply making a new product available for purchase, the launch period can also be used to dial in an effective marketing strategy to attract new customers and to scale sales of the product.

 

Approaches to Product Launch

There are two major approaches or types of project launches. Depending on the product or budget of the company, either of the two product launch types can be applied;

Soft Launch

Often referred to as soft opening, a soft launch involves the release of a product to a specific audience or only to a limited area. Products are released in this manner to evaluate their performance and get early feedback about the product.

 

Soft launches are cheaper because they involve a select number of people from the target audience. It also affords the company an extra level of testing where identified problems can be fixed, unnecessary features removed, and new ones added.

Hard Launch

Sometimes referred to as grand opening, or imagine a highly publicized and anticipated mobile app launch at SXSW. A hard launch refers to when a product is released in its entirety or as its producer intendeds it to be, and it’s usually associated with a relatively high level of buzz surrounding the launch, like a new iPhone release. With this kind of launch, especially with physical products, there is little to no room for modification of the product or addition and removal of extra features. Mobile apps are more flexible because they can be quickly and cost effectively modified and updated even after the app has been launched.

At a hard launch, the product has undergone series of testing, and all the details regarding the product are deemed complete. The process is carried out with maximum publicity and excitement, to grab as much attention from customers to boost sales.

Hard launches are more expensive than soft launches because the process involves a lot of publicity and also requires more time to complete and fine-tune all the details of the product being released to the public.

       Soft Launch vs Hard Launch

Both approaches to product launch have their pros and cons. However, today more companies are favoring the soft opening approach because it’s regarded as the better strategy; affording businesses, especially small ones, more time to make changes to the product. Another advantage of a soft launch is the ability to launch faster and get constructive customer feedback early that will help to ensure a better product-market fit.

With that said, the hard launch is still a great option for companies who feel their product is completely ready to hit the market, and they want to maximize exposure. When proper investment and marketing is carried out, this approach can be a big win for companies that pursue this product launch option.

 

Elements of A Successful Product Launch

So what are the key elements of a successful product launch? Here we’ll identify each one:

1.    Clear Market Positioning

As many as 95% of new products fail, usually because of poor product-market fit. So by the time you’re ready to launch your product you should have done really good, comprehensive in-depth market research to get very clear on what competitive products are available and who your ideal customer is. Competitive analysis includes researching and documenting competitive and comparative products, pricing, distribution channels, and customer feedback for those products. When researching your ideal customer, you should identify the target audience and buyer personas your product is made for.

2.    Meets a Specific Market Need

Put simply, what problems is the product going to solve for its target audience? More often than not, companies that attempt to use a single product to solve many different problems end up with a product that’s a jack of all trades and a master of none.

For a product launch, you should identify and market your product using only a few of the most important problems that you want to solve for your target audience.

3.    The Power of Leverage

Most products are launched into an existing market where there is competition. Utilizing the power of leverage, or competitive advantages your product has, will define how your product will fare against the competition. Competitive advantages are important to define in the business modelling portion of a good product launch strategy.

The leverage a product has over others should be utilized as much as possible in marketing content. Customers should be reminded why your new product is better than the anything else already available to them.

4.    Clear Launch Goals

Setting goals is important to keep the entire company (production, logistics, marketing, and sales teams) in check. When clear goals are set, the focus of the company is directed towards meeting them.

Not only should the goals be clear, but they should also be feasible. These goals can be adjusted as the popularity of the product grows and its market expands.

5.    Pre-Launch Momentum

To ensure the success of a product, the marketing and sales strategies adopted for a product can be as crucial as the production process. When more of the target audience is made to anticipate the launch of a product, it becomes easier for the company to reach their launch goals.

Aggressive marketing will build momentum and expectation from the target audience, thus, solving the problem of most startups, which is product distribution and sales.

6.    Accurate Launch Time

Timing your product launch, in some cases, can be a bit arbitrary. However, by answering some key questions, you can determine whether or not your product is ready to be released.

·        Is the market ready for my product?

·        Is my production team ready to bring the product to the market?

·        Is there enough awareness about my product in the market?

·        What channels will be utilized in the distribution of my product?

·        Is there a particular time of year or season that it makes the most sense to launch? If you’re launching a raking product, for instance, it would be ideal to have your product ready before the fall season and start marketing at least one season (3-4 months) before when you want to launch.

Answering the questions above should help you define if your product is ready for launch or further work needs to be done.

 

Steps Involved in Product Launch

Here we’ll break down the product launch process in its entirety:

1.    Determine Target Market

Dialing in your target audience is actually the most critical part of this entire process. If you understand who your ideal customers are, find out exactly what they need, and you can align your product to solve that need you can quickly generate sales without having to do a lot of hard selling. I’m not saying your product will sell itself. That concept is complete nonsense, but you will have a lot more customer acceptance if you clearly and effectively communicate a value proposition that resonates with your target audience.

2.    Market Research and Competition Analysis

This step becomes all so important when a product is being launched into a market with competition – which is always the case. The available products, competitors, distribution channels, as well as the buying pattern of customers is analyzed during market research.

Studying the competition will give you insight on how best to position your product. At the end of the research, the potential challenges to be faced in the market should have been identified. In the end, your competitive advantage should be properly established.

3.    Business and Financial Modelling

Mapping out your business model and making sure the numbers make sense is an important part of the early stage of product launch. With tools such as a business model canvas (lean canvas), strengths/weaknesses/opportunities/threats (SWOT) analysis, and preliminary financial model, you can clarify every aspect of your business to have a much better understanding of how your business will be structured, how you’ll make money, and what the annual revenue potential is. Some good in-depth research and planning here can save a lot of time and money down the road.

4.    Product Pricing

Pricing is another major factor on which the success of a product is hinged. The price of the product should be fixed at a point where it generates the greatest sales, yet brings in the highest possible revenue for the company.

5.    Marketing Strategy and Execution

As stated earlier, the difference between failed and successful products is a well-planned marketing strategy. Before a product is launched, an efficient marketing strategy should be prepared using the results of the initial market research and surveys. You can put your marketing strategy together after you’ve developed your product, but it’s better to do it before so you have a clear picture of how you’re going to monetize your product once it’s ready. Your marketing strategy will clarify exactly how you’ll be putting your product in front of your ideal customers and how you’ll effectively communicate the value proposition of your product to them. Your marketing strategy can include:

·        Content Marketing – Generate organic traffic to your sales funnel or website using search engine optimization (SEO).

·        Outreach Marketing – Manually (or with the help of automated outreach tools) contact potential customers, build a connection with them, and offer your product. This works better and is much more efficient for high-ticket products and services.

·        Affiliate Marketing – This also requires outreach but for products it’s more efficient and cost effective. Based on your keyword research, identify the top search engine result pages (SERP’s) and reach out to the owners of those pages to have your product featured on them. Product reviews and comparisons are the most common type of content you’ll get from SERP owners. You’ll not only get a backlink from a website with a good domain authority (DA), which over time will increase your DA, but you’ll also get a relatively quick boost in traffic to your website from the affiliate website.

·        Influencer Marketing (Social Media Affiliate Marketing) – Influencer marketing is basically affiliate marketing but you’re working with social media profiles instead of SERP owners. You can negotiate pay-per-post rates and commissions. Influencers will create content for you that they’ll share with their audience, giving you exposure to new audiences, and it gives you more content to use on your own social media profiles.

·        Social Media Marketing – Create content specifically for platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn, or repurpose existing picture/video content for those platforms. This is a great way to build a meaningful connection with your target audience and grow it organically. Create content that’s highly educational, entertaining, or both so people are more interested in sharing it, thereby maximizing your exposure.

·        Paid Ad Marketing – Test products, audiences, and messaging quickly with paid advertising. If done right, you can also quickly scale your sales. Content and affiliate marketing should be long-term strategies with paid ad marketing only being used to accelerate growth in the short term. Otherwise, if you completely rely on paid ads to drive sales forever, costs can increase and the rules can change on ad platforms, which will significantly impact your sales and return on investment (ROI). If your sales take a big hit when you stop your paid ads, that’s a sign that you need to focus more resources on other areas of your marketing strategy, especially content and affiliate marketing.

·        Email Marketing – The reason most businesses fail at effectively converting sales, especially when they’re paying for clicks, is they’re not following up and retargeting people who’ve shown interest and maybe purchase intent (with an add-to-cart action). On average it takes customers seeing your product 7 times before they’re ready to buy. So, finding cost effective way of getting back in front of your audience after they show initial interest is critical. Getting people on your email list with a lead magnet and creating an automated email sequence can be a highly effective way to retarget your customers and drive more sales.

6.    Product Development

If your goal is to sell a physical product or mobile app, you must have something to sell. Unless you’re an experienced product developer yourself, you’ll want to hire with a company, like Stoke Ventures, to design and engineer your product. The product development company you work with should be focused on design for optimal functionality and usability, and just as importantly, design for cost effective manufacturing. Design for manufacturability is something that can easily be overlooked, especially with the way 3D printing allows for more complicated designs. Many designs that can be 3D printed can’t be produced with standard or even advanced production manufacturing methods. So it’s incredibly important to implement proper design for manufacturability techniques.

At this point, the product development company you work with should be sourcing components for production manufacturing so you at least have a budgetary estimate of unit costs at order volumes. Manufacturing costs are usually the majority of your cost of goods sold (COGS) and it’s important to make sure that your COGS are no more than 25% of the retail price you think you can comfortable sell your product for. That percentage of COGS can be higher for low volume production to test the market, but whatever annual sales volume you think you can reasonably work up to within 1-2 years is the production volume you want your unit cost to be no more than 25% of your product’s retail price.

7.    Intellectual Property (IP) and Patents

Often, inventors jump to this step without completing many of the other product launch steps. That’s a mistake because what you learn by working through the entire product launch process can have a significant effect on creating strong and effective intellectual property (IP). Start with a trademark and patent search, then begin product development before you file a non-provisional patent application. The more detail about the product a patent attorney has, the better their patent application will be. If they write a patent based on an idea and maybe a few sketches, there’s a good chance competitors can easily work around your patent and generate more specific patent claims that have more commercial value. So remember, patent search, product development, then patent application. The different types of intellectual property are:

·        Trademark

·        Design Patent

·        Provisional Utility Patent

·        Non-Provisional Utility Patent

8.    Pre-Launch and Crowdfunding – Market Validation

There’s no better way to validate your product idea than by getting feedback and purchase intent from real customers. There are many ways to fund a product launch but crowdfunding is also one of the best and most effective ways to do that. A pre-launch campaign allows you to test-market your product without having a fully developed product (although that’s recommended as soon as possible), so it’s the most cost-effective way to get feedback and build a list of customers with a high level of purchasing intent. Next you can move onto a full crowdfunding campaign to generate real sales.  For this it’s best to use existing crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

9.    Manufacturing, Product Kitting, and Fulfilment

Now that you’ve gotten some traction in the market with your pre-launch and/or crowdfunding campaign(s), you need to start thinking about working through the manufacturing process. That can take some time, usually about 4-6+ months, so make sure you plan accordingly.

After you dial in the manufacturing process you can start thinking about packaging your product so it can be fulfilled. This process is also known as kitting. Some manufacturers will do this (which is ideal) but many fulfilment companies can receive bulk shipments from the manufacturer and do the kitting themselves before they fulfil orders.

That brings us to order management and fulfilment. Use a software such as ShipStation to receive orders from your eCommerce platform (such as Shopify). The fulfilment company you use should be able to receive orders directly from your ShipStation account and fulfil them without you having to do any work besides setting up the system at the beginning. At this point your process should simply be to order inventory from your manufacturer and have it delivered to your fulfilment company, which leaves you plenty of time for the most important work you’ll be doing for your business… customer service and scaling.

10. Customer Service and Scaling

A lot of companies are horrible at customer service, I mean it’s mind boggling how many are, but you don’t have to be. It’s actually very simple and straightforward. What’s the key to incredible customer service? Well, there are two things that are important. The first is understanding. Even hot-headed customers who seem very upset can be put back on their heels and calmed down with the two words “I understand”. Most people just want to be heard, so hear them out, and genuinely try to understand their concern (no matter how crazy it sounds). Amazon customers are some of the toughest customers out there because Amazon has created an instant gratification monster where some people who shop on the platform have unreasonable expectation of vendors, probably sometimes forgetting that there are real humans with small businesses who prop up the Amazon ecosystem as vendors. But don’t worry, simply starting off with “I understand” can disarm even the toughest customers.

That brings us to the other most important part of customer service which is actually putting in the work to help solve people’s problems. If you have a genuine desire to make your clients happy (within reason of course) then this part will be easy, and can be incredibly satisfying. This part can be critical to the success of your business because if you go above and beyond for one customer, they can become a raving fan, and they’re likely to spread the word about your product to their friends and family which can drive more sales, giving you the opportunity to create more raving fans, all while lowering your customer acquisition cost (CAC).

Scaling is just important as your initial product launch because your goal should be to lower your manufacturing costs (with higher order volumes), reach more customers who will advocate for your product, and generate more monthly revenue so you can continue to invest in your business, or maybe buy that vacation home you’ve had your eye on! This part of the process can be monotonous and it’s the side of entrepreneurship that’s not covered much, because it’s boring. But consistently executing on your marketing and sales strategy is what gets results, even if it’s not glamorous or exciting.

 

Advantages of A Product Launch

In today’s competitive environment, companies now place a lot of emphasis on product launches. It’s now common to find companies engage in aggressive pre-launch marketing campaigns before they release their product in other to get the attention of customers and pique their interest.

Here are some of the advantages such companies benefit from well-planned product launches.

1.    Builds Excitement and Attention

A product launch with a solid strategy can offer the company an early marketing opportunity for the product. Through proper communication (press releases, articles, social media, paid ads, and affiliate marketing) the attention of customers can be drawn to your product before it hits the market.

2.    Creates Publicity and Builds Trust

A well-planned and executed product launch can be a great source of publicity for the product. Customers are also more likely to trust a product they’ve had multiple encounters with than a product they’ve never seen before.

3.    Increases Sales in the Initial Months After the Launch

The initial product launch stages can also affect how you scale the growth of your product and business. The publicity and excitement generated will generate early exposure, and thinking through your entire launch and marketing strategy from the beginning will allow you to grow your business more efficiently.

4.    Provides a Competitive Edge

Proper planning of a product launch provides a company with an edge over competitors which are already in the market. The attention of their customers can be easily shifted to the new product that may have a better value proposition than existing products.

5.    Provides More Business Opportunities

A new product is beneficial in capturing the interest of businesses that are interested in collaborating with affiliate and cross-promotional opportunities.

 

Risks of A Product Launch

Product launches, like starting any new business or investment opportunity comes with risk. But consider this, millionaires generate millions by investing thousands, and billionaires generate billions by investing millions. Without investing in yourself and your new product, even though there is risk, you won’t ever realize your dream and achieve your goal of seeing your product in the market being bought and enjoyed by potentially thousands of excited customers.

 

Final Thoughts

Although launching a product requires an investment and can be stressful, the process can be highly rewarding when done rightly.

Conducting detailed research and focusing on the elements of your product launch will greatly increase the odds of successfully getting you product to market.

The development of your product doesn’t entirely end at product launch, After the initial product launch, it’s also important to take feedback from the customers to add better features and make improvements on existing features, so you can always be delivering the best possible solution(s) to your customers.

Product Launch

The introduction of a new product usually comes with a whole lot of excitement and euphoria. However, a product launch can be an unnerving moment for businesses, especially for emerging startups.

A product launch can be overwhelming because the long-term success of a product, in some cases, the whole business, depends largely on how well a product is presented to the market.

In this article, we’ll cover the most important components of a successful product launch to guide you through the process.

What is a Product Launch?

A product launch can be defined as the planned, coordinated efforts of a business involved in publicizing, marketing, and making a new product available for purchase. Simply put, it involves a company introducing or commercialising a new product to the market.

While at its most basic level a product launch is simply making a new product available for purchase, the launch period can also be used to dial in an effective marketing strategy to attract new customers and to scale sales of the product.

Approaches to Product Launch

There are two major approaches or types of project launches. Depending on the product or budget of the company, either of the two product launch types can be applied;

Soft Launch

Often referred to as soft opening,a soft launch involves the release of a product to a specific audience or only to a limited area. Products are released in this manner to evaluate their performance and get early feedback about the product.

Soft launches are cheaper because they involve a select number of people from the target audience. It also affords the company an extra level of testing where identified problems can be fixed, unnecessary features removed, and new ones added.

Hard Launch

Sometimes referred to as grand openingor imagine a highly publicized and anticipated mobile app launch at SXSW. A hard launch refers to when a product is released in its entirety or as its producer intendeds it to be, and it’s usually associated with a relatively high level of buzz surrounding the launch, like a new iPhone release.

With this kind of launch, especially with physical products, there is little to no room for modification of the product or addition and removal of extra features. Mobile apps are more flexible because they can be quickly and cost effectively modified and updated even after the app has been launched.

At a hard launch, the product has undergone series of testing, and all the details regarding the product are deemed complete. The process is carried out with maximum publicity and excitement, to grab as much attention from customers to boost sales.

Hard launches are more expensive than soft launches because the process involves a lot of publicity and also requires more time to complete and fine-tune all the details of the product being released to the public.

Soft Launch vs Hard Launch

Both approaches to product launch have their pros and cons. However, today more companies are favoring the soft opening approach because it’s regarded as the better strategy; affording businesses, especially small ones, more time to make changes to the product. Another advantage of a soft launch is the ability to launch faster and get constructive customer feedback early that will help to ensure a better product-market fit.

With that said, the hard launch is still a great option for companies who feel their product is completely ready to hit the market, and they want to maximize exposure. When proper investment and marketing is carried out, this approach can be a big win for companies that pursue this product launch option.

Elements of A Successful Product Launch

So what are the key elements of a successful product launch? Here we’ll identify each one:

1. Clear Market Positioning

As many as 95% of new products fail, usually because of poor product-market fit. So by the time you’re ready to launch your product you should have done really good, comprehensive in-depth market research to get very clear on what competitive products are available and who your ideal customer is. 

Competitive analysis includes researching and documenting competitive and comparative products, pricing, distribution channels, and customer feedback for those products. When researching your ideal customer, you should identify the target audience and buyer personas your product is made for.

2. Meets a Specific Market Need

Put simply, what problems is the product going to solve for its target audience? More often than not, companies that attempt to use a single product to solve many different problems end up with a product that’s a jack of all trades and a master of none.

For a product launch, you should identify and market your product using only a few of the most important problems that you want to solve for your target audience.

3. The Power of Leverage

Most products are launched into an existing market where there is competition. Utilizing the power of leverage, or competitive advantages your product has, will define how your product will fare against the competition. Competitive advantages are important to define in the business modelling portion of a good product launch strategy.

The leverage a product has over others should be utilized as much as possible in marketing content. Customers should be reminded why your new product is better than the anything else already available to them.

4. Clear Launch Goals

Setting goals is important to keep the entire company (production, logistics, marketing, and sales teams) in check. When clear goals are set, the focus of the company is directed towards meeting them.

Not only should the goals be clear, but they should also be feasible. These goals can be adjusted as the popularity of the product grows and its market expands.

5. Pre-Launch Momentum

To ensure the success of a product, the marketing and sales strategies adopted for a product can be as crucial as the production process. When more of the target audience is made to anticipate the launch of a product, it becomes easier for the company to reach their launch goals.

Aggressive marketing will build momentum and expectation from the target audience, thus, solving the problem of most startups, which is product distribution and sales.

6. Accurate Launch Time

Timing your product launch, in some cases, can be a bit arbitrary. However, by answering some key questions, you can determine whether or not your product is ready to be released.

Answering the questions above should help you define if your product is ready for launch or further work needs to be done.

Steps Involved in Product Launch

Here we’ll break down the product launch process in its entirety:

1. Determine Target Market

Dialing in your target audience is actually the most critical part of this entire process. If you understand who your ideal customers are, find out exactly what they need, and you can align your product to solve that need you can quickly generate sales without having to do a lot of hard selling. I’m not saying your product will sell itself. That concept is complete nonsense, but you will have a lot more customer acceptance if you clearly and effectively communicate a value proposition that resonates with your target audience.

2. Market Research and Competition Analysis

This step becomes all so important when a product is being launched into a market with competition – which is always the case. The available products, competitors, distribution channels, as well as the buying pattern of customers is analyzed during market research.

Studying the competition will give you insight on how best to position your product. At the end of the research, the potential challenges to be faced in the market should have been identified. In the end, your competitive advantage should be properly established.

3. Business and Financial Modelling

Mapping out your business model and making sure the numbers make sense is an important part of the early stage of product launch. With tools such as a business model canvas (lean canvas), strengths/weaknesses/opportunities/threats (SWOT) analysis, and preliminary financial model, you can clarify every aspect of your business to have a much better understanding of how your business will be structured, how you’ll make money, and what the annual revenue potential is. Some good in-depth research and planning here can save a lot of time and money down the road.

4. Product Pricing

Pricing is another major factor on which the success of a product is hinged. The price of the product should be fixed at a point where it generates the greatest sales, yet brings in the highest possible revenue for the company.

5. Marketing Strategy and Execution

As stated earlier, the difference between failed and successful products is a well-planned marketing strategy. Before a product is launched, an efficient marketing strategy should be prepared using the results of the initial market research and surveys. You can put your marketing strategy together after you’ve developed your product, but it’s better to do it before so you have a clear picture of how you’re going to monetize your product once it’s ready.

Your marketing strategy will clarify exactly how you’ll be putting your product in front of your ideal customers and how you’ll effectively communicate the value proposition of your product to them. Your marketing strategy can include:

6. Product Development

If your goal is to sell a physical product or mobile app, you must have something to sell. Unless you’re an experienced product developer yourself, you’ll want to hire with a company, like Stoke Ventures, to design and engineer your product.

The product development company you work with should be focused on design for optimal functionality and usability, and just as importantly, design for cost effective manufacturing. Design for manufacturability is something that can easily be overlooked, especially with the way 3D printing allows for more complicated designs.

Many designs that can be 3D printed can’t be produced with standard or even advanced production manufacturing methods. So it’s incredibly important to implement proper design for manufacturability techniques.

At this point, the product development company you work with should be sourcing components for production manufacturing so you at least have a budgetary estimate of unit costs at order volumes. Manufacturing costs are usually the majority of your cost of goods sold (COGS) and it’s important to make sure that your COGS are no more than 25% of the retail price you think you can comfortable sell your product for.

That percentage of COGS can be higher for low volume production to test the market, but whatever annual sales volume you think you can reasonably work up to within 1-2 years is the production volume you want your unit cost to be no more than 25% of your product’s retail price.

7. Intellectual Property (IP) and Patents

Often, inventors jump to this step without completing many of the other product launch steps. That’s a mistake because what you learn by working through the entire product launch process can have a significant effect on creating strong and effective intellectual property (IP). Start with a trademark and patent search, then begin product development before you file a non-provisional patent application.

The more detail about the product a patent attorney has, the better their patent application will be. If they write a patent based on an idea and maybe a few sketches, there’s a good chance competitors can easily work around your patent and generate more specific patent claims that have more commercial value.

So remember, patent search, product development, then patent application. The different types of intellectual property are:

8. Pre-Launch and Crowdfunding – Market Validation

There’s no better way to validate your product idea than by getting feedback and purchase intent from real customers. There are many ways to fund a product launch but crowdfunding is also one of the best and most effective ways to do that.

A pre-launch campaign allows you to test-market your product without having a fully developed product (although that’s recommended as soon as possible), so it’s the most cost-effective way to get feedback and build a list of customers with a high level of purchasing intent. Next you can move onto a full crowdfunding campaign to generate real sales. 

For this it’s best to use existing crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

9. Manufacturing, Product Kitting, and Fulfilment

Now that you’ve gotten some traction in the market with your pre-launch and/or crowdfunding campaign(s), you need to start thinking about working through the manufacturing process. That can take some time, usually about 4-6+ months, so make sure you plan accordingly.

After you dial in the manufacturing process you can start thinking about packaging your product so it can be fulfilled. This process is also known as kitting. Some manufacturers will do this (which is ideal) but many fulfilment companies can receive bulk shipments from the manufacturer and do the kitting themselves before they fulfil orders.

That brings us to order management and fulfilment. Use a software such as ShipStation to receive orders from your eCommerce platform (such as Shopify). The fulfilment company you use should be able to receive orders directly from your ShipStation account and fulfil them without you having to do any work besides setting up the system at the beginning.

At this point your process should simply be to order inventory from your manufacturer and have it delivered to your fulfilment company, which leaves you plenty of time for the most important work you’ll be doing for your business… customer service and scaling.

10. Customer Service and Scaling

A lot of companies are horrible at customer service, I mean it’s mind boggling how many are, but you don’t have to be. It’s actually very simple and straightforward. What’s the key to incredible customer service? Well, there are two things that are important. The first is understanding.

Even hot-headed customers who seem very upset can be put back on their heels and calmed down with the two words “I understand”. Most people just want to be heard, so hear them out, and genuinely try to understand their concern (no matter how crazy it sounds).

Amazon customers are some of the toughest customers out there because Amazon has created an instant gratification monster where some people who shop on the platform have unreasonable expectation of vendors, probably sometimes forgetting that there are real humans with small businesses who prop up the Amazon ecosystem as vendors. But don’t worry, simply starting off with “I understand” can disarm even the toughest customers.

That brings us to the other most important part of customer service which is actually putting in the work to help solve people’s problems.

If you have a genuine desire to make your clients happy (within reason of course) then this part will be easy, and can be incredibly satisfying.

This part can be critical to the success of your business because if you go above and beyond for one customer, they can become a raving fan, and they’re likely to spread the word about your product to their friends and family which can drive more sales, giving you the opportunity to create more raving fans, all while lowering your customer acquisition cost (CAC).

Scaling is just important as your initial product launch because your goal should be to lower your manufacturing costs (with higher order volumes), reach more customers who will advocate for your product, and generate more monthly revenue so you can continue to invest in your business, or maybe buy that vacation home you’ve had your eye on!

This part of the process can be monotonous and it’s the side of entrepreneurship that’s not covered much, because it’s boring. But consistently executing on your marketing and sales strategy is what gets results, even if it’s not glamorous or exciting.

Advantages of A Product Launch

In today’s competitive environment, companies now place a lot of emphasis on product launches. It’s now common to find companies engage in aggressive pre-launch marketing campaigns before they release their product in other to get the attention of customers and pique their interest.

Here are some of the advantages such companies benefit from well-planned product launches.

1. Builds Excitement and Attention

A product launch with a solid strategy can offer the company an early marketing opportunity for the product. Through proper communication (press releases, articles, social media, paid ads, and affiliate marketing) the attention of customers can be drawn to your product before it hits the market.

2. Creates Publicity and Builds Trust

A well-planned and executed product launch can be a great source of publicity for the product. Customers are also more likely to trust a product they’ve had multiple encounters with than a product they’ve never seen before.

3. Increases Sales in the Initial Months After the Launch

The initial product launch stages can also affect how you scale the growth of your product and business. The publicity and excitement generated will generate early exposure, and thinking through your entire launch and marketing strategy from the beginning will allow you to grow your business more efficiently.

4. Provides a Competitive Edge

Proper planning of a product launch provides a company with an edge over competitors which are already in the market. The attention of their customers can be easily shifted to the new product that may have a better value proposition than existing products.

5. Provides More Business Opportunities

A new product is beneficial in capturing the interest of businesses that are interested in collaborating with affiliate and cross-promotional opportunities.

Risks of A Product Launch

Product launches, like starting any new business or investment opportunity comes with risk. But consider this, millionaires generate millions by investing thousands, and billionaires generate billions by investing millions. Without investing in yourself and your new product, even though there is risk, you won’t ever realize your dream and achieve your goal of seeing your product in the market being bought and enjoyed by potentially thousands of excited customers.

Final Thoughts

Although launching a product requires an investment and can be stressful, the process can be highly rewarding when done rightly.

Conducting detailed research and focusing on the elements of your product launch will greatly increase the odds of successfully getting you product to market.

The development of your product doesn’t entirely end at product launch, After the initial product launch, it’s also important to take feedback from the customers to add better features and make improvements on existing features, so you can always be delivering the best possible solution(s) to your customers.