Launching new products, services, or segments is the lifeblood of growth for most organizations. Yet, despite its importance, the launch process is often mishandled or assigned inadequate resources.
Many of the mistakes that companies make are basic—yet frighteningly frequent and consistent across various types of businesses and industries.
Here are six common fault lines in the launch process that very company should look out for:
1. Putting Product Before Market or Customer
It sounds basic, but hands down the most common mistake in product launch starts with the product-development process. Too many companies develop a new product concept before adequately researching its attractiveness to the target buyers. Though an initial concept may be valid, it's important to confirm exactly what customers want, how the proposed product meets those needs, and whether the market is willing to pay.
Example: A former client, a switch manufacturer, discovered two months prior to a product launch that most prospects actually wanted a different configuration of ports, power, and features than engineers had anticipated. Something as simple as a focus group or one-to-one interviews with a few key prospects would have clarified the customer need and saved the company tens of thousands of dollars' worth of wasted development time and resources.
2. The Wrong Team
Venture capitalists have long recognized that a strong management team is as critical to the success of a new enterprise as a superior product; in fact, many will tell you that they'll choose superior management over superior technology any day.
J. Mark Carr is a partner at CMG Partners (www.cmgpartners.com), a strategic marketing consulting firm for companies in a variety of industries.