Often times a company’s growth potential lies in its ability to develop and market additional products that fulfill a specific, unmet need while still remaining focused on its core value proposition. At my company, TV Ears, we have carefully done this over our 12-year history; creating new lines of user-friendly assisted listening devices that help people enjoy their television viewing experiences more. Each offering has supported the other, while increasing our overall sales and market share in the process.
While the introduction of a new product can be a very exciting process, it can also be stressful if everyone isn’t on the same page and there isn’t a solid plan in place before the kick-off occurs. Here are three suggestions to keep in mind while devising a launch plan:
1) Keep everyone on the same page
With numerous folks involved in different aspects of the planning and execution process, it’s easy to see how miscommunication happens. Hold regular meetings or distribute weekly email updates to ensure that any new information is disseminated accurately. This will help eliminate internal confusion and keep everyone in the know on important details.
For example, my company is about to introduce the first "Senior-Friendly" TV to the market. We’ll also offer different service packages to go along with the product in a concerted effort to meet each customer’s unique needs. That means that our sales staff must understand the many different price points before the launch takes places so no one is scrambling to go back and forth on figures. We’re also making sure that all of our marketing folks have up-to-date collateral material developed and are keeping our PR team in the loop so they can have an accurate press release prepared prior to the TV’s general availability.
2) Unveil the product at an event
Giving folks a sneak peak of the new offering is a great way to collect feedback and get an idea of how the product will be perceived. Case in point: we previewed our new TV at the International Consumer Electronics Show in January and received a great response from retailers and distributors. Numerous, prestigious media outlets in attendance also gave high praise to the product, and that has served us greatly in promoting it to our market. Getting some constructive input early on has been a big help to us in not only garnering initial market interest, but also in determining what additional services we should offer alongside the TV to better meet customer demands.
3) Start with your core stakeholders
If a company is launching a new product, it’s highly recommended that they start by giving their core stakeholders the first go around. In our case, we are offering the "Senior-Friendly" TV first to our expanded audiology and hearing aid dealers. This is not only a great way to test out the sales of the new product, but shows appreciation to the folks that have contributed to the company’s success along the way. It demonstrates that you truly value their partnership and are willing to reward them for their confidence and trust throughout the relationship. Doing so may also provide a sense for how sales will continue and at what rate to manufacture additional products.
In order to launch a new offering successfully, a well executed strategy is essential. Create a system to keep everyone on the same page throughout the process so information is dispersed accurately. While a company is understandably anxious to get a product out on the shelves, previewing the offering at a trade show event in advance will help gauge the interest and secure set up the actual launch for even better results. Lastly, don’t rush to get your product in the stores, but rather give your valued partners the first shot at purchasing the product. Companies that follow these tips will have a better chance at securing positive results.
About the author: George J. Dennis is the founder and CEO of TV Ears, fast-growing manufacturer of doctor recommended TV listening solutions. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.