This post describes the fifth phase in the Optimal Product Process: Launch. Download the entire Optimal Product Process 2.0 book: CLICK HERE
A company without a specified launch plan and process will rarely meet its initial or long-term revenue goals
Launch is one of the biggest areas of failure for products
That’s because companies may rush the product to market before it is ready or fail to plan and execute a launch that will meet their business goals due to budget or lack of launch skills. It’s ironic when a company spends hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars on engineering to build a product, only to then skimp on the launch and spend virtually nothing. This is the fallacy of “If we build it they will come.”
After qualifying the product to assure that it meets appropriate standards and will be accepted and embraced by customers and the market, a company then officially launches the new product (or an updated version for existing products) into the marketplace. A successful launch allows the company to generate interest in the new product.
Once a product is released it rapidly becomes old news
By working closely with its channel and other partners to successfully introduce, sell and support the product it gives the company the opportunity to set the competitive argument against other companies and products. A company without a specified launch plan and process will rarely meet its initial or long-term revenue goals (unless they get incredibly lucky). This is one of the biggest pitfalls in the technology market – engineering-driven companies believe that because they build it that the industry will magically become aware and be willing to buy it. We at the 280 Group are constantly amazed at the amount of money spent to develop great new products that are then given no chance to succeed because the company isn’t realistic about what it takes to do an adequate product launch.
How do you know that you are ready for the launch phase?
You have a well-thought-out launch plan. You have evaluated all of the activities you are doing to launch the product and have done an estimate of how many leads, prospects and sales you will drive (and whether this will meet your targets). The entire team, including operations, engineering, sales, support, marketing and the executives all know the plan and the launch details and are executing together as a team. And of course you have a high level of confidence from the Phase Four Qualify activities that the product is ready for prime time and for customers to have a great experience.