Exclusive Features

Sidebar: 10 New Product Launch Essentials

By Bridget McCrea

Over the past two months, tED magazine has been bringing you relevant information on new product launches. First, for How Good (or Bad) are Manufacturers’ New Product Launch Efforts?, tED magazine spoke to a number of distributors about their thoughts on the issue and in Manufacturers Speak Up on New Product Launches, suppliers said their peace and also gave distributors a few pointers on the steps they can take to help improve the success of new products as they hit the market. In How Distributors Can Give New Product Launches a Boost, a marketing pro and former manufacturing executive share their secrets to developing successful new product launches. Finally, in How Do Electrical Contractors Learn About New Products?, tED magazine asked “Can your distributorship being doing more to get new products information to electrical contractors?”

In this last sidebar piece, we speak to marketing expert John Favalo, who suggests distributors and manufacturers use this 10-point thinklist when developing new products and presenting them to the marketplace:

  1. Why does this product exist? (Why is it attractive, who will buy it, does it give us a competitive advantage?)
  2. What makes this product different? (In the way it works? In what it does?  From competitive products? From competitive technology?)
  3. What is the audience segmentation? (Is the market homogeneous or can it be segmented?   Can the segments be quantified?  Which are most attractive? What will it take to win with key segments?)
  4. How will competitors react? (Will they re-price? Load the channel? Re-message? Misinform? How could they create fear/uncertainty/doubt? What can we do to preempt these reactions?)
  5. How will partners/influencers help or hinder? (Who are the key partners and influencers?  What roles do they play in product trial/acceptance/purchase?)
  6. What communications will we use? (Has a budget for all aspects of the launch been set? Given the target audiences/segments, what is the best media to reach them? When should marketing, sales, and communications start?) 
  7. What are the pipeline and channel considerations? (Is there a key channel(s) and what is required to support it? What kind of sales materials will the channel need?  Displays and demos? Should a sales contest be considered?)
  8. What about demand? (Will immediate inventory be required?  How deep in each product variation or SKU? Will demand be different per segment?)
  9. Have we discussed and assessed key risks? (Do we have “what if” scenarios for above-average and below-average demand? What are the barriers and pitfalls?  How can they be neutralized?)
  10. Are we prepared to collect post-launch data? (What data and KPIs are relevant? How will we collect the data? Are our systems ready to accept the data?)

McCrea is a Florida-based writer who covers business, industrial, and educational topics for a variety of magazines and journals. You can reach her at bridgetmc@earthlink.net or visit her website at www.expertghostwriter.net.

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