Successfully launching a new product is a delicate venture and the riskiest business investment a company can make. Whether you have previous experience with Product Roll-outs or this is your first attempt, best practice is to always to start with a plan.
Think of how often you sit to make lists – Christmas Card list, Grocery list, etc. When we write things out, it becomes real and tangible. Take for example a Chef – as they build out a new recipes, they write down the ingredients, ounces need, heat temperature and by the end of their journey, they have an entire notebook of notes until they have perfected a dish. What wine to pair it with and dessert to follow? Who is the audience you are trying to reach?
It’s no different a process for any other product being created. To help you along this journey, provided below are a few recommendations to help you increase the chances of success:
Document Your Thoughts:
Don’t’ spend time trying to figure out where to start your on your Product strategy. By simply documenting your ideas on paper – a data dump of what is in your head – it will help you start to visualize your idea. It now starts to come alive on paper. Feel free to draw it out if you can’t truly explain your plan. As you write, yoru ideas will start to evolve anda plan will start to come together.
Focus on building out your concept. Writing it down will ensure the Product elements are being followed as designed. Version your changes to allow you to reference past phases as necessary.What didn’t work before, could eventually become a core piece of your project.
Team Work makes a Dream Work:
Schedule a meeting with your Core Team to discuss the details on expectations for Production, Pricing, Marketing, Sales, etc. Build a timeline that is realistic and attainable. As you go through your timeline, iron out the details in a document as a group. This helps drive communication and transparency amongst your team. It’s also a great way to get the creative thoughts going and shine a light on any foreseeable challenges.
If you are a one-person show, network with your friends and/or mentors to create an Advisory Team. Be sure to choose people you can trust and will have the best interest of your company and product in mind. I also recommend having them sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) to protect your company and ideas.
Set your Expectations:
Launching a new product is not easy! What you envision in your head, will take some time to convey on paper and into an actual product. Keeping an open mind throughout the process will be very important. Know there will be moments of frustration and discouragement throughout the process – it’s part of the process. Simply remind yourself of why you started in the first place. Take a few steps back and come back with fresh eyes.
Quality over Quantity:
Develop your product based on your planned specifications, keeping your team abreast of any challenges along the way. Keep an open-mind to any changes that may need to occur along the way, but always keep quality in mind. Taking shortcuts will impact your product negatively. What you saved in the making of your product will be paid tenfold with your customers.
Feedback is always important in Product strategies – you are building this product to solve yoru customers problems, not yours. While you may think you knocked it out the park, your customers may have a different perspective.
Schedule a soft launch of your products and get feedback on what works & needs improvement. Phase out changes – Show stopper to enhancements. There is always room for improvement, but waiting until your product is 100% perfect may not be feasible to your companies success. Take time to tweak your product before scheduling a mass production roll-out, but any minor enhancements may come in a later phase.
Best of luck with your Product Strategy! Keep us posted on your success…