Product Launch: The Often-forgotten Considerations

So many of us have been there. ‘Is this new product worth it, yes or no, yes or no?’ Clearly success relies on the magical balance between product differentiation, fit with target market, efficiency of producing the product and ultimate profitability. It seems like it should be so straightforward, yet it never is.


Our experience has taught us that there are a few things consistently overlooked when developing the path to launch. Here’s our gift to you, a powerful list of ‘The Frequently Unaccounted For’:


  • Prototyping: When, how many, how finished-looking and more. Whether for executive committee meetings, consumer testing or line reviews, this takes time and this takes money. Be sure to allot for it appropriately.


  • Corporate inertia: Politics and legacy may make it very, very hard to kill a product in the portfolio to make space for new news. Yes, some of these concerns are likely valid. There is a risk to ceding shelf space and there is a risk of losing loyal purchasers. But more often than not, it’s fear of change that gets in the way.


  • Legal reviews: Inside counsel or outside counsel, it’s going to require a time investment and possibly a dollar investment. And unless you’ve learned the hard way, this may not explicitly be built into your plans.


  • Sales training and collateral: The cost of sales training is sometimes a huge intangible. If you’re lucky, you can incorporate training into an annual sales meeting, but sell-in timelines don’t always align with this. The worst is the train once, then train again later because your on-shelf date moved. Trying to avoid this, and its corresponding enthusiasm-dampering impact, is highly recommended.


  • Developing new channels: This takes time and dedication. The cost-to-serve of each channel can vary so make that part of your evaluation process. If you do move forward, be prepared to assert your compelling proposition from the target consumers’ point of view, as well as explain why and how you’ll trump the competition. These new relationships can be invaluable, so do it right the first time.


We hope we’ve helped. We would love to hear other things you’ve learned to pay attention to on the ever-changing journey that is new products. Contact Fountainhead today.