Published 15 Aug 2023
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.
In this article
- What is a Product Launch Checklist?
- Why is it Important?
- 3 Major Mistakes When Preparing for The Launch
- What Should be Included in The Checklist?
- Digital Checklists with SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor)
- Featured Product Launch Checklists
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, right after product development. It helps businesses prevent instances of incomplete requirements, missed steps, and miscommunication.
Why is it Important?
These checklists are used across industries including manufacturing and hospitality, among others. It helps businesses increase profitability and prepare for possible outcomes including initial sales and customer feedback. It also helps in:
- observing safety programs prior to the launch;
- determining challenges in product creation and quality checks;
- capturing information on how to sell the products based on marketing plan and strategies; and
- discovering new processes and effective solutions to launch the product.
3 Major Mistakes When Preparing for The 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 launch. Setting a realistic timeline and roadmap to complete project tasks is important when trying to adhere to schedules. It is necessary for members of the 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 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 the 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.
What Should be Included in The Checklist?
A product launch checklist is used to gather information to ensure the successful market introduction of a revamped or new product development. 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, specification, 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 into 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 the target audience’s needs and behavior. It includes strategies such as social media, market research, and content marketing.
- Systems are the backbone of the product. Ensure sales and support teams are properly trained on the new product to provide technical support to customers after the launch. Update the team about the pricing and billing options.
Digital Checklists with SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor)
Traditionally, product launch documentation is 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 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 SafetyCulture, 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
This menu launch template is converted by Maxine Pears using 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.
This advertising checklist can be used to verify that product advertisements are at par with the rules and regulations surrounding them. It also helps ensure that ads comply with the local government planning scheme as well as the industry best practices. Further, this ready-to-use checklist specifically includes details about the advertisement application, information request general criteria, advertising criteria, and necessary permits.