Successfully launching new products gets tougher every year. In the past decade, the number of new consumer products hitting the shelves has skyrocketed by 59%, making it much more difficult for new products to win consumer attention.

If you've built a better mousetrap and plan to introduce it into this tidalwave of new products, it is more critical than ever to carefully plan and execute your launch using a strategic approach.

Here are seven classic mistakes companies make when developing new product launch campaigns. Avoiding these pitfalls will greatly increase your odds of success:

Mistake #1: Don't plan the launch until right before the release date

Nothing is more disheartening to a PR or marketing consultant than to have a client call and say, "We have a great new product ready to launch next month. Can you develop a plan by next week?"

Sadly, this happens all too often. Companies spend months—even years—developing a new product only to think about creating the launch plan as the product is rolling off the assembly line.

In a market where over 33,000 new consumer products goods were launched last year, you need a truly outstanding launch strategy to entice consumers to buy your new product. That's not something you can create overnight, so start your launch campaign planning early. If possible, begin launch planning when the product gets the "go" sign from management. That way, you'll have the same amount of time to plan and execute your launch as your production team has to manufacture the product.

Mistake #2: Carve your launch plan in stone

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joan Schneider is president of Boston-based Schneider Associates and author of New Product Launch: 10 Proven Strategies. For more information, visit www.launchpr.com.