How to successfully launch a new product or service

How to successfully launch a new product or service

You are excited about the new service you have developed and you are certain many business owners in Scotland will benefit.

Just before you sign-off the promotional campaign budget a friend tells you to read about the failure rates of product launches. It’s the last thing you want to read at this time, but you force yourself to read the report. You can’t afford to waste this chance – you might never come up with such a good idea again. Your friend is correct – many new ideas fail.

Next day, you decide to go ahead, but would like to increase your chances of success, and so you promise to follow a series of tips you’ve received:-

1. Set product launch goals
It may seem obvious, but it is a common trap to launch a new product in a fairly haphazard way, without thinking clearly about what you’re trying to achieve. Consider what will constitute success for your product launch and set goals accordingly. You may want to take into account such things as product awareness, leads, affiliations or partnerships with third parties who will market your product, and, of course, sales.

How many companies within Central Scotland are likely to use your new service or product?

2. Have a clear target market in mind
Very few products have universal appeal. Ask yourself: ‘Who will buy this?’ and ‘How much would they be willing to pay for it?’ Outline the profile of your ideal customer or your most likely customer, and make sure that all your pricing, marketing and advertising efforts are geared towards them. It rarely pays to simply list the supposed benefits of a product and ‘blanket’ market, hoping for the best. And if you can’t answer those questions at all, it might be time to go back to the drawing board!

Can you name at least 100 Scottish businesses that could benefit?

3. Define your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Once you have identified your target customer, ensure that you can justify why they should choose your product over a rival that already exists. What problem are you solving that they currently face? What need do they have that is currently unmet? Crystallise the benefits of your product by answering these questions, and make that the central message in your marketing.

Pick one sector at a time and ask a handful of owners for help. What do they truly think about your idea? How much would they pay? Is your USP commercially significant?

4. Make sure the marketing message is clear
Confused customers don’t part with their money. Although you may understand the product and its benefits perfectly, are you sure that the same is true for the uninitiated? Try out your marketing messages on a layperson who knows nothing about the product you’ve been developing.

Can your target audience easily grasp what your product is for?

5. Make sure the product is ready
Although perfectionism is to be avoided if it prevents anything getting done – and at some point you do need to hit the button – you must equally make sure that your product is fully tested and ready to roll before you launch. The history of business is littered with examples of products that were launched before they were ready, with disastrous results.

Could you operate a free trail run with Glasgow and Lanarkshire to allow you to quickly and easily see how your new idea performs in the real work and then make any necessary improvements before you big launch?

6. Be prepared for success
You may spend so much time worrying about failure and working to get your launch right that you neglect to put the systems in place to cope should you have a runaway hit on your hands. Many businesses have run into logistical, staffing and cash flow difficulties because they suddenly find they have a deluge of orders that they can’t realistically meet. Look on the bright side, and make sure you’re ready for a winner!

Does your current business plan test for a range of outcomes, ranging from horrible failure to amazing success? If you are based in Glasgow or Lanarkshire, ad+ is conveniently located and happy to help you.


If you would like to arrange a meeting to discuss this matter, or would simply like more information, please get in touch:

Phone: 0141 643 9200

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