How to launch a product


Ask any modern entrepreneur and it’s likely they will tell you that the launching and marketing of a product is as paramount to its success as the product itself.

When done in an effective manner, a product launch can increase revenue, improve the reputation and recognisability of the company, form new business relationships and – most importantly – bring positive attention to both the company and the product.

How to bring a new product to market

Before you can bring a new product to market, it can help to understand fundamental factors behind this process.

For instance, any business that is looking to launch a product needs to:

  • Understand competitor brands thoroughly, including private label their claims, mode of action, communications campaigns and pricing
  • Identify and understand behaviour of the target audience through insights
  • Ensure legal and regulatory compliance
  • Set retail and trade pricing to allow you to compete in the category and drive volume
  • Test product position through research

A visual representation of a product about to be launched.

How to successfully launch a new product

When it comes to launching your product, there are several factors you can consider to boost how effective the launch is.

Tips for launching a product successfully include:

Approach the launch in a strategic manner –

Setting a strategy around your product launch is only likely to improve your ability to track, monitor and review its success. Your target audience is a good barometer for identifying how you should approach this strategy and what you can to make it as effective as possible.

Once you’ve established your target audience, you can launch your product and build from the ground up, taking into account their response and feedback as it begins to grow. Along with their opinion, those of retail partners, online reviews, key opinion leaders, retail partners, should be taken into account. This should allow you to assess what works, what doesn’t and what you can improve on.

Make a significant impact on social media –

In modern marketing, outreach is a core component in making a product recognisable to your audience. While focusing on traditional methods of outreach via email, advertising and PR, you should gradually formulate a social media presence that is relevant to your product and the target audience it’s looking to engage with. This could even be something you start long before you launch your product to build up followers, test out the impact of your content and populate your platforms with relevant content.

Don’t forget – social media expands to more than just Twitter and Facebook. If you think your target audience is more likely to use Snapchat, Instagram, LinkedIn or TikTok, put more of an emphasis on these platforms. However, it would be advisable to offer a level of exposure on every mainstream social media platform as a way of covering all bases.

Identify relevant ambassadors for further exposure –

The impact of outreach and a social media presence is sometimes unquantifiable, with word of mouth and the increasing visibility of your brand sometimes reaching further than you can account for. However, another side to this is the use of influencers, public figures and brands, businesses and people that are already popular in the industry you’re looking to enter into.

By forming a partnership with these people, they can point their audience in the direction of your product, whether that’s through a tailor-made video, sponsored post or simply a retweet or share on a social media platform. Not only will getting someone who’s respected in the same sphere as your product to promote it tap in to the audience you’re looking to engage with, but it will also spread a feeling of trust to these people, encouraging them to use your brand and tell like minded friends, family members and colleagues about it.

Build hype around your launch –

Prior to your product launch, you should decide on a suitable date, work towards this date and build a genuine buzz around it. Through videos, imagery, competitions, emails, sponsored posts on social media, your product’s website and social media platforms and exposure from ambassadors and other marketing avenues, you can create hype for your product before it’s even launched and then watch as people show interest in it when it is.

Where relevant, promote your passion and expertise as part of the product’s marketing campaign –

One of many modern trends today is for entrepreneurial business owners to be just as recognisable and widely known as the products they’re looking to market. You should always put the promotion of your product ahead of yourself, but it can be beneficial for your product to make appearances and use these events as an opportunity to market your product.

Conferences, webinars and conventions are common, and as many allow for people to present a talk themselves, you could put yourself forward, give your talk an interesting title and explain the importance and uniqueness of your product, all while selling your product subconsciously to the audience. Then, after this appearance is complete, you can market it online, offer it out to news outlets and use it as proof that you and your business are reputable and that your product is worth talking about.

How to ensure product launch success

The product launch phase can be several months. While many businesses will focus their attention to checking that this period is as effective as possible, the success of a launch often comes into fruition months later. A successful product launch is crucial, and consistent marketing must continue into the future to build awareness, purchase and loyalty. A brand must always merit its place on the retailer’s shelf and is under scrutiny at every range review.

Constantly analyse your data to see what is and isn’t working. Your market will keep changing – consumer behaviours, shopping habits, price sensitivity, new competitors in your space. So, ensure that your brand strategy accounts for these factors and that you remain relevant.  In that way, the life of the brand will continue to extend.

Frequently asked questions around launching a product

If you’re interested in bringing a product to market, it’s likely that you have several questions. These may include:

How long does it take to launch a product?

A product launch typically consists of a vast array of moving parts, and if these varying factors aren’t properly managed, the time it takes to launch your product could be prolonged. Each product is different, and with this in mind, the method of launching a product is also likely to be specific to the product, which may alter the time it takes for it to be launched to market. Enthusiasm to get to market quickly can sometimes miss some crucial steps, so it is critical to take the appropriate amount of time to launch a product that is sustainable into the future.

A checklist of tasks is shown below but is not exhaustive:

  • Establish your brand positioning
  • Ensure that you meet legal and regulatory requirements by country
  • Financial P&L based on:
    • Development costs – packaging, research, testing etc
    • Identifying full cost of goods including duties and tariffs
    • Retail prices and trade margins
    • Logistics costs
    • Consumer communications creative and media
    • Trade promotions, display, online
    • Ongoing operational costs – own team / outsourced / legal / regulatory / professional body
  • Set up your company structure with right partners – sales, marketing, logistics, insights, regulatory, legal etc
  • Ensure that your product accounts for sustainable packaging needs in the individual pack, outer and shipper. Obtain product and case barcodes and check for scanning
  • Ensure that product packaging is durable for onward transportation from online retailers
  • Understand manufacturing timeline, accounting for movement between countries
  • Understand retailer range review timings. Some of these are now annual with presentation windows several months out
  • Develop brand strategy – message, communication routes such as digital and social media, TV, print, PR. Appoint appropriate agency partners
  • Prepare retailer / trade customer presentations, with appropriate insights, reason for taking shelf space, compelling consumer proposition and how you intend to create and sustain demand
  • Develop online presence including website
  • Pre-launch consumer comms if appropriate
  • Pre-launch trade comms if appropriate
  • If your product requires professional recommendation then design and deliver your education campaign
  • Launch to your sales managers so that they fully understand what they are presenting to trade customers
  • Assess status of trade customers so that you can agree launch timing
  • Launch trade press campaign prior to or at point of product launch
  • Launch consumer campaign as soon as product is available to consumers on shelf / online – meeting critical mass to do so
  • Monitor sales through ex-factory and EPOS data, and market data where available
  • Consistently review and refine your product, communications, your category and competitors
  • Obtain insights from your sales and marketing partner, trade bodies, the media, specialists like IQVIA, IRI, Nielsen, NAM News, Bridgethorne

How much does it cost to launch a new product?

The cost of launching a new product is likely to vary depending on a number of factors. For example, the cost of production, packaging, shipping, storage, sales, consumer marketing, trade marketing,  legal, regulatory, services that have to be outsourced, agency fees, partnerships with affiliates and influencers,  are all likely to play a part. And as all of these considerations are specific to your product, it can be difficult to put a figure to this process.

If, however, you have an OTC or personal care product that you require help with launching, Ceuta Healthcare can help. All you need to do is get in touch on the ‘Contact Us’ section of our website, explain your product to us and a member of our team will assist you with solutions for launching your product.

by Ceuta Healthcare | Dec 2, 2020