A product launch plan contains all of the steps and details associated with your product launch. Before you launch, you should do market research, create a prototype, and market test your prototype. These are, in effect, the initial essential phases you go through to ready your product for the actual launch.
Beyond those phases, a launch plan should include:
- “Soft launch”: A soft launch is a launch of the product or service that is limited in scope. This gives you the ability to test the product under live market conditions prior to a full launch.
- Launch checklist: A checklist of every step that must happen before, during and after the product launch, including product development, manufacture, delivery and distribution; marketing and promotion; and customer service and support components. Don’t forget about customer service! Horror stories have been told about companies that launch products, only to find out that their toll-free customer support line is not working, the new product pages have not been posted on their website, or their customer support staff is not prepared to handle questions about the new product.
- Marketing components and schedule: The product launch must be surrounded by a major marketing initiative designed to create awareness, generate interest, drive demand, and incite action. The marketing must effectively grab the attention of prospective buyers, get them to qualify themselves, and begin a cultivation process that eventually leads to a purchase.