27 Nov 6 steps to launch a new product
Launching a new product is a long process. In this article, we will provide 6 steps based on personal experience of methods used by a large European company that specializes in sports equipment.
USER OBSERVATION: Know your client
Observing the target client is the critical first step of the product management process. Understand the needs of the user and identify problems in the use of your product. Learn what they want and what they expect from the product to be able to add new and/or useful features to your product and differentiate it from competing offerings.
PRODUCT CONCEPTION: Is it feasible?
The second step is product conception. In this phase you will decide the materials that you want to use, the technology you want to employ, the color schemes…etc.
Speak with several parts suppliers, manufacturers (if you plan to outsource production) and distributors to better understand the processes to manufacture and deliver your product.
It will help you to develop the technical and design requirements for the stakeholders involved in the manufacturing process and raise any potential issues early.
PRODUCT TESTS: Prototype it!
You will need a few prototypes from the manufacturer to test the product. There are two types of tests to bring the product to market. The first are the field tests which will highlight the usability of the product in its intended environment and will raise areas for improvement or adjustment.
Once the field tests are completed, test the product for market approval. There are standards and certifications required by each country that the product needs to pass before it can be sold in those markets. Independent internationally recognized laboratories can run these tests but you need to know which tests are required of your product category for each market.
Modify the product based on the test results and then test the final prototype to ensure necessary compliance.
PRODUCT INDUSTRIALIZATION & PRODUCTION
Once the product has passed the necessary tests, start the manufacturing process. Order the components needed for pre-production pieces to test for quality and the manufacturing process for potential issues. When the quality matches requirements, launch full-scale production.
PRODUCT COMMERCIALIZATION: Start to sell!
How do you wish to distribute your product? Do you plan to only sell it online or through stores or both?
Once the distribution channel is chosen, start advertising the product. Select the appropriate advertising media such as TV, radio and social media depending on your target market.
It is the final step but the most important. Collect feedback from your users to continuously improve your product until it reaches the end of its useful commercial life.
As Bill Gates said: “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
By Marie GATINOIS