The phase between coming up with a new product and bringing that product to market is crucial. Here’s what you need to ask yourself, if you want to get it right.
Sales and marketing considerations
What are the core objectives for your product? What is the overall vision that you are trying to achieve and how does this match up to your value proposition?
It’s important to ensure that your core objectives are clear and that they match with the pitch you will be putting forward to various investors, partners and, ultimately, your customers.
Who is your target audience? What problems are you trying to solve for them and how competitive or non-competitive is the market you are about to enter?
Understanding your audience, the various buyer personas, problem areas and competition are crucial things to look at when launching a new product. Through in-depth market research you can get a true handle on the competition and gain an understanding on where and how to push your product once it has been developed.
After all, getting a product built is only the start of the journey. Having a great product is one thing, but it will be in vain if no-one knows about it or is unable to grasp your product proposition.
Understand the problem:
What are the problems you are trying to solve? Is anyone addressing those problems at the minute? Is there any particular user demographic that is being affected more than another?
These are all good questions to ask. They encourage both parties to re-address the problem they are trying solve and whether there are any user demographics that are susceptible to this problem more than others.
It’s important to stay focused on the “what” and “why”. Test ideas, designs and prototypes with your target personas first and see if there is a realistic need for your product.
Routes to market:
What are your routes to market? How do you plan on getting your product in front of the people that matter? How do your target customers shop and where and how will they see your product?
Answering the above questions will allow you to determine what marketing channels could be more profitable for the new product. It really comes down to understanding the wider picture. Identifying your target audience and understanding what marketing channels might work best for your product once launched is key.
It’s important to position yourself carefully. This could mean starting in a target niche and building out to more competitive markets once the product has grown. Either way it’s important to understand the difference between a problem solution fit and product market fit. In other words, whilst your product solves a certain problem, how will it become competitive in the wider markets? Can features easily be expanded and is there opportunity to grow into different areas that are related to the initial problem area?
Branding and design:
What is your brand? Do you have a well thought out brand promise which is aligned with your values and business model? Do you have an existing brand which you are looking to reposition and rebrand in line with your new product?
Whatever the answer is, it’s essential that you build a brand that is relevant and has longevity. Not only should it be look and feel great, but it should also be consistent and unique, with an original tone of voice, persuasive and clear message and striking imagery to help position your product for success.
What are the core features needed to make your product functional? Is there a long term feature plan that needs to be built into the marketing and sales road-map?
Getting feature requirements right from the start can help save money and time in the long run. What’s more, testing these features with real user groups whilst in the design and prototyping phase can help spot any potential roadblocks or usability issues early on which can then be quickly resolved through design before any development work has even started.
Will your app or website need to hook up to any third party platforms? Is there a need to develop custom client or user portals? Is there a subscription and/or product based payment aspect to the system?
Consider whether additional bespoke functionality will be needed.
Analytics and tracking:
How will you track engagement for your new product? How will you track sales enquiries, leads or other valuable business KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)? And how do you intend to track the user journey on your website or application?
All of the above questions are key considerations to make from the outset. Having a great product is one thing, but you need to be able to report back on what is working and what isn’t. That way you can better manage your re-investments and plan for future growth in a more accurate and efficient manner.
This also applies to the other people within your business. Will they also be able to complete their tasks easily and track various performance metrics relevant to their area of business?
Consider the structure of your website or application. Are you confident you have covered all areas relevant to your end users? Whatever the answer make sure your structure is right from the outset. Consider getting a UX prototype completed for your product so that this can be tested with real users and so that you can then optimise your designs towards better conversion and user engagement.
What is your brand messaging? Do you have a set of core USPs about your product or business?
Brand messaging is key for creating a separate identity in what can potentially be an already crowded market place. Establishing a strong tone of voice can set you out as a thought leader in your industry and encourage trust for your brand amongst your target audience and product partners.
Where and how will you be promoting your product or service? Have you tried any previous marketing activities before and if so which performed better?
Promoting your new product or service is important, and ongoing momentum is paramount in order to stay front of mind. So, keep a regular stream of marketing activity going and promote new features following each development sprint. There are always new streams of target customers actively searching for your solutions, but they can only be found with continued marketing activity.
How do you plan to reel people into your product and what marketing channels are likely to work best for you? Whatever you choose it’s essential to track your efforts and investments. Don’t forget to implement tracking scripts, landing pages, app features or whatever is needed to reel your users in and track their engagement with your product or service.
You may have your audience insights and product requirements but don’t forget to plan your actual launch strategy. Will there be a soft launch to a niche market before a wider product launch or will there be one single launch preceded by content and brand awareness campaigns?
If you already have a website, start a blog and build social awareness of your new product prior to launch. Submit guest posts to industry related publications and reach out to influencers in your market who might show interest in your new product or service. These are just some of the many ways in which you can drive awareness in the build up to your product launch.
Ongoing support, maintenance and hosting:
Do you require ongoing support so that your internal team can benefit from strategic advice, UX and development expertise, or marketing ideas and measurement?
Keeping your products up to date with the latest technologies or by adding additional features to meet increased user demands can be tiresome and a lot to manage on your own.
This is where external help from experts in the chosen area can be useful. So call upon outside advice, as it brings fresh thinking and an objective sounding board
Unsure what to do next?
Whilst our workshops and architecture process allow us to define the core features, structure and design of your new product or service, it’s important to consider the bigger picture when planning your launch. Getting things right from the outset can only benefit the success of a product or service further down the line.
If you are still unsure what the next step is for your project or have any questions about either our architecture process or any of the considerations above, feel free to get in touch with one of our expert team today and we’d be more than happy to help.
If you’re interested in working with Newicon on your next digital project, get in touch now.