Product Launch Plan: A Checklist & Formula for Success

When you’re planning a product launch, there’s a lot going through your head. What type of product launch strategy should you develop? Who can help you execute it? What are your internal and external resources, and what can you expect from them when you debut your new offering? Is this an internal product launch or will you be showing it off to the world? And so on.

Many companies get flummoxed when they have to take a product to a conference, develop strategies for generating excitement virtually, or measure the success of a product or its launch afterward. If you or your team are feeling a little spun out, that’s okay! Many people, even in marketing, have never learned how to launch a product properly. Even if you have, you might need more help than you can get in-house. All of this is normal.

That’s why we’re here today with a failproof, foolproof product launch formula. We walk you through what your launch should entail from start to finish. We will also give you a complete product launch checklist that you can use any time, not only for this launch, but for many to come. Let’s get to it.

What Is a Product Launch?

Many people know the answer to this; others don’t. In essence, a product launch is the time period during which you debut a new product on the market. In some cases, you may only be using the product internally, in which case it applies to the time period during which your employees are getting used to using it in their day-to-day operations.

What Happens During the Launch?

Typically, product launches don’t last very long, no more than a few days to a few weeks, tops. That means you have to squeeze a lot into a short period of time.

The ways in which you can tackle a product launch are highly customizable and virtually endless, especially if you have a virtual event platform that can help you generate the excitement and interest you’re looking for. Typically, you will want to include the following general steps:

  1. Perfect the product and ensure it’s tested and ready for market
  2. Familiarize the appropriate employees and salespeople with the product and its features
  3. Prepare websites, blogs and ecommerce platforms with pages and links to the product
  4. Contact distributors and retailers to let them know about the new product
  5. If appropriate, design advertising retailers can post to let customers know it’s coming
  6. Hold sustainable events in person or remotely to let people know about your new product when it drops
  7. Deliver the message via social media, PR and media outreach, and advertising
  8. Transition from the launch into a permanent place for the product on your shelves

So how do you put your product launch plan into action? Good question.

The Ultimate New Product Launch Checklist

Ready to put everything together in the ultimate product launch checklist? Whether you’re running hybrid events, setting up a purely virtual venue for your product launch or hosting a live event, this works. (Note: you can follow this checklist even if you’re doing a soft launch or adding the product to your line with no event attached to the process.)

In a nutshell, this is the basic formula you should follow to ensure you don’t miss any of those vital details. Print it out and format it to your liking, then keep it on hand for every stage of the process!

Pre-Launch

The pre-launch phase is easily the longest and most challenging of any new product debut. That’s because you have to think through a million variables and make even more choices. (Okay, maybe not a million, but it sure feels that way.)

The good news is, by being very dedicated to this phase of your launch, you can avoid unpleasant surprises during the launch and post-launch phases. As the latter two mostly involve executing the plans you put in motion here, make sure this is the place you spend most of your time when planning the launch. Then all you have to do later is follow through!

  • Create all branded collateral you will need for your product, including in-store advertising, physical advertising for third-party retailers, online ad graphics, etc.
  • If desired, create a different set of branded collateral for the pre-order or promotional phase of the launch, to be switched out when the product becomes available to the market
  • Let your partners and retailers know a new product is coming, tell them the date, and give them the appropriate specs, training and advertising collateral
  • Choose on which social media channels you will promote your product
  • Create graphics to post on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and LinkedIn that represent your product accurately and appealingly, with critical information (e.g. dates) included
  • Create content that optimizes for keywords and other SEO best practices that highlight your product
  • If you are holding an event in association with your product launch, plan the event, then repeat the above three steps for the event itself
  • Create all online and physical brand collateral for your new product so that you’re fully equipped once it goes live
  • Decide if you will pay for advertising, and if so, where you’ll run ads
  • Create a social media outreach or influencer plan
  • Create a PR and media outreach strategy to line up promotional outlets and stories about your product
  • Write any press releases, guest posts or articles you plan to put out during launch week, so you don’t have to do it then
  • Put together an email blast announcing your product and any associated events, deals, preorders and so forth
  • Contact loyal customers and client bases and ask them to contribute to the product’s launch, with testimonials, beta testing, event attendance, social media promotion and so forth
  • Assign someone on your team to be available on launch day/week to take high-priority phone calls and answer emails dedicated to the product

Launch

During the launch, your full attention will be on your new product, as well as the clients and customers to whom it might appeal. That’s why it’s so important to have thought through the steps above, because now you can just execute them! Specifically, you will want to:

  • Take product listings and pages live on your website and on retail websites
  • Switch out any pre-order or promotional collateral with current branded material that shows the product as now available IN HOUSE
  • Switch out any pre-order or promotional collateral for current branding AT RETAILERS
  • Announce the product launch on social media channels
  • Give influencers the go-ahead to unveil products (if they have waited till launch day to do so)
  • Put out press releases, guest blogs and articles as planned in the pre-launch phase
  • Press “go” on all advertising campaigns showing the product as now available
  • Send the email announcement
  • Hold any in-person or virtual events you’ve planned in relation to your product launch
  • Contact any retailers, influencers or other partners about the product to see if they have questions and are on-track with all agreed-upon promotional plans
  • Check in with your high-priority assignee to see how things are going

Post-Launch

Once you’re past the main launch, things will calm down! However, there’s still work to do. To make the most of your launch and your products, you should:

  • Debrief the launch and measuring its success
  • Get customer feedback about the product over time
  • Use the feedback to develop better versions of your product
  • Train staff to help customers use the product effectively
  • Apply the lessons learned from the launch’s social media plan, events, PR strategy and so on to your next launch

Need Help? Get in Touch with 6Connex

If you need help putting together a game-changing product launch that connects with customers old and new, 6Connex can help. We are the leading provider of in-person, hybrid and virtual event technology for enterprises worldwide. With 6Connex, you get everything in one place, including webinars, learning management, in-person event apps, virtual event products, event tech integrations, and more.

Why does 6Connex stand out? Because the opportunities for customizing your launch are nearly endless. No matter what appeals to you, and to whom you are trying to appeal, we can help. Our amazing customer service team ensures that you get what you need, from the same account manager, every time you contact us. Plus, with a global sales staff, support team and leadership, you’ll get what you need absolutely anywhere in the world – no matter your time zone.

We would love to tell you more about our virtual event solutions and engagement tools, so please feel free to get in touch and request a virtual event platform demo. Our team is standing by, ready to make your next product launch a mind-blowing success, so don’t wait!




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