Published March 26th, 2020
What is a Product Launch?
A product launch is a marketing strategy for introducing a new product or reintroducing an existing product after functional or design innovations have been made. It is a systematic process of announcing the product’s availability, usage, design, and suggested retail price to the public.
What is a Product Launch Checklist?
A product launch checklist is a tool used by marketing teams to check and document the completeness of the processes, steps, and assets needed for the product launch prior to its launch date. It helps businesses prevent instances of incomplete requirements, missed steps, and miscommunication.
Importance of a Product Launch Checklist
Product launch checklists are used across industries including manufacturing and hospitality, among others. It helps businesses prepare for possible outcomes including initial sales and customer feedback. It also helps in:
- observing safety programs prior to product launch;
- identifying challenges in product creation and quality checks;
- capturing information on how to sell the products based on marketing strategies; and
- discovering new processes and effective solutions to launch the product.
This article will feature: 1) major mistakes when preparing for product launch; 2) elements of a good product launch checklist; 3) technology used to digitize product launch checklist; and 4) ready to use product launch checklist templates you can download and customize for free.
3 Major Mistakes When Preparing for Product Launch
A product launch is an exciting and important event for every business. Its preparation requires time and effort to meet set goals. Avoid product launch failure by familiarizing yourself with the common mistakes when preparing for it.
- Inaccurate Plans and Schedules
Established plans and schedules are crucial factors when preparing for a product launch. Setting a realistic timeline and pace to complete project tasks is important when trying to adhere to schedules. It is necessary for members of the product launch team to be updated with the milestones as well as the roadblocks encountered during the project execution to minimize product risks and recurring errors.
Stating clear objectives helps the team understand the process as a whole and avoid redundant and unnecessary work due to miscommunication and improper presentation of plans.
- Failure to Perform Product Quality Checks
Thorough product inspections and quality checks are important aspects of a product launch. Quality inspections help businesses comply with safety regulations and quality standards. Failure to perform quality inspections can lead to product launch failure as a result of product malfunctions and/or non-conformance to design requirements. Perform pre-launch testing with beta testers to gather insightful feedback to further evaluate the product and ensure product launch success.
- Lack of Documentation
A product launch could fail due to overlooked errors and irregular documentation. Keeping a record of project movement and development is necessary to know the areas where an operation is succeeding and where improvements can be made. Using a product launch checklist is recommended to ensure that marketing teams are guided, and take the necessary steps towards regulatory adherence. Proper documentation also helps prevent communication gaps between suppliers and manufacturers.
4 Elements of a Product Launch Checklist
A product launch checklist is used to gather information to ensure the successful market introduction of a new or revamped product. The following are essential elements of a good product launch checklist:
- Product Knowledge is the most crucial element when launching a project. Product objectives, including features, UX design, and engineering must be stated clearly for the team’s reference. Ensure that product knowledge is prioritized and documented according to the set timeline.
- Quality Checks and Beta Testing is necessary to ensure product reliability and functionality. Record test results including incidents and risks encountered to gain further insight on product improvement opportunities.
- Marketing Strategy includes the details and specifics of the plan to launch and sell the product. It collects qualitative data derived from open discussions about consumers’ needs and behavior. It includes strategies such as social media and marketing content.
- Systems are the backbone of the product. Ensure sales and support teams are properly trained on the new product to provide technical support to your customers after the launch. Update the team about the pricing and billing options.
Digitizing Product Launch Checklists
Traditionally, product launch documentations are recorded manually using pen and paper. With this approach, manual data-entry must be performed to draft and email product launch reports to business owners. This cumbersome process makes critical data susceptible to damage, loss, and unauthorized access. With iAuditor by SafetyCulture, you can solve this problem by converting your existing paper forms into our digital format. The convenience of using a digital product launch checklist can speed up and improve the overall reporting process. With iAuditor, you can also:
- create and customize your own digital product launch checklist, no programming needed;
- input data directly into your mobile phone or tablet anytime, anywhere, even if you are offline and your data will automatically sync to the cloud once you connect to the internet;
- take unlimited photos of non-compliance, defects, and malfunctions and annotate them to further understand the details of the report;
- identify issues and assign corrective actions to immediately address them; and
- generate real-time reports after completing your assessment and easily share it within the organization.
Featured Product Launch Checklists
Product Launch Checklist
A product launch checklist is used by marketing teams to ensure the readiness of the product and support teams prior to the product launch date. This template has been created to guide the team to do the following:
- State the objective and general instructions of the product.
- Check and assess the processes if completed.
- Take notes to better explain the details of the project.
- Assign corrective actions for follow up.
- Add recommendations and observations.
- Sign off with a digital signature to validate the product launch report.
Product Readiness Launch Checklist
This product readiness launch checklist is used in the food and hospitality industry to review the readiness of the business in preparing the product launch.
Menu Launch Template
This menu launch template is converted by Maxine Pears using iAuditor by SafetyCulture when they launch Nando’s Menu last May 2016. Nando’s is a South African restaurant chain that specializes in Portuguese food, such as peri-peri style chicken dishes. A menu launch template helps in gathering feedback about the restaurant visit to check if the product launch is successful.
Product Evaluation Template
A product evaluation template is used to assess a manufactured product’s quality. This template ensures products are in good working condition and complies with design and standard procedures before market release.