How to Manage a Successful New Product Launch in Retail
Launching a new product is one of the most exciting times for your brand. Between managing your brand identity, working within budget and managing tight deadlines, there’s a lot to consider to ensure a smooth new product launch.
Continue reading to find out how to handle the launch lifecycle from pre- to post-launch and guarantee the successful introduction of your new product in the retail market.
Why it’s Important to Create a Product Launch Plan
Developing an incredible product is one thing, but making that product a success is another. In fact, up to 80% of new products fail, which is why new product launch plans are so important to help keep your product on the road to success.
This plan sets out your goals, timeline and resources and reduces unnecessary stress by helping you stay on budget and target. In addition, you can use the new product launch plan to align internal teams to ensure that everyone from the shop floor sales team to the financial department is on the same page to meet their respective targets.
Our Hunter case study is a perfect example of how clearly defined goals and objectives helped guide the launch of their latest season boots. Hunter understood their target audience and how to engage with them despite tight deadlines, opting for a sleek product display to attract customers.
The Pre-Launch Stage: New Product Launch Planning Best Practices
Before launch day, you must create your product launch plan to ensure your new product is a success. Follow these steps to put together a carefully crafted plan:
Define Product Launch Goals
There are three main types of goals that you need to define before proceeding with your product launch:
- Product awareness goals: Measure the effectiveness of your marketing and how effective your branding is.
- Customer goals: Analyse and segment your customer base to create clear goals of who will buy your new product.
- Sales goals: Determine how many items you need to sell in a certain amount of time.
Choose the Best Channels to Reach Your Audience
The next step in creating an effective new product launch plan is to map the customer journey and choose the best channels to reach your audience.
In retail, clear customer journeys sharpen the focus about how customers want to buy, rather than how retailers themselves want to sell. A successful customer journey map uses data collected from existing customers and transforms it into valuable insights, such as the customer’s buying process and pain points.
The next step is to use these customer journey maps to find out what makes your customers tick and to identify the best channels to promote your new product. Remember, customers’ buying processes are rarely linear, so you may need to implement various strategies to ensure you capture your customers’ attention at various touchpoints in their journey.
The bottom line is modern retail customer journeys must be customer-centric. This ensures your marketing campaigns and newly launched products continually resonate with your target audience’s true needs and desires while embedding trust and credibility in your brand.
Craft a Multichannel Retailing Strategy for Your New Product Launch
Now that you understand your customers and how to reach them, it’s time to implement a multichannel retailing strategy tailored to their journeys.
Customers have soaring expectations and want the convenience of having everything at their fingertips, and crafting a multichannel strategy is the best way to meet these demands.
A multichannel strategy is an approach to sales that focuses on providing seamless customer experiences whether the client is shopping online or in a brick-and-mortar store. This strategy ensures a better customer experience — with 73% of all customers using multiple channels during their purchase journey.
Personalisation is the fuel that drives sales in a multichannel strategy. It’s important to transform the insights gathered from the above customer journeys and data analytics to attract the right customers who are more likely to be interested in the new product.
This approach is about more than just giving your customers options. It’s about aligning every method to cover each step of your customer’s journey. So, after launching online ads, follow up in-store to ensure your customers commit to the purchase. This includes keeping your staff up to date on information about the product and using eye-catching displays that guide customers towards it.
How to Launch a New Product
After the pre-launch stage, it’s now time to prepare your teams for a successful launch.
Create Buzz Ahead of Launch Day
Without making noise about a new product, it’s unlikely you will attract the interest needed to make it a success.
Start creating a buzz as soon as you can by:
- Turning your launch day into an event: Advertise it on social media and send invites to the launch through your mailing list.
- Using special offers: Tease limited-time offers before the launch by handing out coupons customers can use on launch day.
- Build curiosity: Create a “Coming soon” landing page, and advertise the new product at the point of sale ahead of the launch.
- Effective advertising: Use a combination of TV and outdoor ads to promote your new product in the pre-launch phase.
Amplify Your Reach with Content or Social Media
Social media is a great place to further promote your new products, and incorporating it into your launch plan can boost your online presence and create buzz.
Build a social media campaign that runs before launch, during the launch and after launch to maximise your reach during this critical time. To ensure the campaign’s success from start to finish, it’s important to create a social media plan that contains a posting schedule, influencer marketing strategies and KPIs to assess performance at the end of the campaign.
Retail Promotion and Product Displays
Product displays are often the final piece in a new product launch plan. They’re critical in leading customers to new products, often proving more influential than tv, radio and press advertising.
In fact, 74% of all purchases made in-store are impulse buys. POS merchandising is ideal for enticing consumers to try out your new product. However, to make the most of them, they must be:
- Strategically placed
- Consistent with your branding
- Appealing to your target audience
- Tailored to your store
Navigating the Post-Launch Phase
A successful product launch doesn’t end with introducing the new product in the market, as you need to evaluate the success of your launch to adapt future strategies.
Analyse Your Data, ROI and Success Metrics
A key step in any post-launch phase is gathering and assessing data to measure the success of a launch. This is the time for your team to reflect, learn and improve. Interacting with your customers and asking for feedback is critical in this phase. Constructive feedback enables you to implement meaningful changes for version 1.2 of the product and adapt how you engage with customers to win them back in the future.
Wrapping up the launch also means evaluating your achievements against the goals set in the product launch plan. If you failed to hit your targets, figure out the weak points in your overall strategy to tailor it for success. For example, if your product hasn’t generated the revenue you anticipated or hoped for, this can prompt reassessing components in your pre-launch plan.
Kick Off Your Project with KSF Global
Now that you know how to plan a new product launch successfully, it’s time for the next step. Download the design brief to plan your retail promotional display now.