These Product Launches Tell Us Exactly How To Go About It
To minimize the chances of failure, businesses can follow these 7 steps to successfully launch their new product
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Startups are the centers of innovation. And product launches are how they show the world what they have been working on. Interestingly, the pandemic transformed how entrepreneurs think about innovation. Consequently, product launches have taken a new approach. This article explores the current approach to product launches and the biggest launches of 2022 so far.
The 7-step approach to new product launch
When startups or existing businesses decide to launch a new product, it starts off as an idea with a hypothesis that it would meet a pressing need in the market. Almost 95 per cent of the time, these hypotheses are wrong and the product fails.
To minimize the chances of failure, businesses can follow these 7 steps to successfully launch their new product.
Do detailed market research: It's common sense to know the customers that you want to pay for your product. At this stage, you need to develop a user persona. A perfect avatar of your customers. How and where they live their lives, their income level, technological literacy, etc. Also, while researching the market, a detailed understanding of your competitors and their positioning is crucial.
Define the positioning of your product: After the first step, you probably know the positioning of your competitors, have a better understanding of your customers and have a more refined hypothesis. It's a good time to define your product's positioning. It won't solve all the users' problems but which specific problem should you address first and how?
Sell your hypothesis and positioning to stakeholders: Some product ideas require funding or approval from the board or top management. Without their approval, you may be considered a rogue employee. This can turn your entire idea and effort from innovative to derogatory. So, take the time to sell the idea to these stakeholders and secure their approval.
Develop a go-to-market strategy: Building a product is not enough. Being able to integrate it into an existing market is very important. When working on a new product idea, you should develop a strategy for integrating it into the market. This includes optimized marketing, pricing structure, and others.
Set a launch date and define your launch goals: Product launch can linger for Lord-knows-how-long. A typical product team has the tendency to overextend launch time because a part of them believe the product can be made better. So, they keep tweaking until it's never launched. Setting a launch date even before the product development begins can help you avoid that trap. Also, you need to clearly define when the product is ready for launch. At what stage of the development is it ready to enter the customers' hands?
Pre-market your product to build anticipation: Just before the launch, it's a great idea to create some buzz around what you are building. This will stir the market's anticipation for your product and increase their willingness to try it out after launch.
Launch and collect feedback from users: Some of the best product launches are nowhere near perfect. Most are launched in the beta phase, where a few customers are given access to the product and feedback is collected for reiteration and improving the product. This is important because you get to fix some minor issues with the product before the broader market gets to really use it.
Notable product launches of early 2022
Despite being a fast-paced year for startups, these are five notable launches for the first quarter of 2022.
Walnut: After closing a $35 million Series B funding, this sales experience startup created a new product that enables companies to create interactive and personalized product demos. The Demo Customization Wizard feature added to the product makes it easy for sales teams to automate their product demo creations. The Stacked Demo libraries are included to give sales reps the liberty of segmenting and optimizing their sales cycle processes as well.
The startup has a loyal community of salespeople, as well as a strong brand. This made the pre-launch marketing buzz a tad more exciting than what is seen in regular startups. Incorporating teamwork and collaborative features into their product, Walnut for Teams, they are allowing salespeople to work as a team, learning from and supporting each other in their career.
So far, it is very apparent that Walnut zoomed in on their client's pain points with this product. It's smooth to say that the company found a pretty decent product-market fit by analyzing customer behavior.
Nebula: This product was created by Exberry, a digital trading fintech startup. Nebula is the first cloud-native exchange development platform that allows companies to create their own cloud-based digital asset trading platform.
Nebula eliminates the need for digital trading companies to write extensive codes. The product makes a no-code exchange marketplace possible. So, their clients can avoid the tech and operational hurdles that come from building and maintaining a traditional exchange platform.
While one cannot tell what the future looks like for Nebula or Exberry, but the possibility of a no-code digital exchange platform sounds pretty attractive.
renovai: This product was launched with a primary focus on fighting decision paralysis. renovai is an AI-powered visual commerce solution for digital e-commerce platforms. It provides better product recommendations for shoppers using artificial intelligence.
With the heavy data made available by users digital behavior, this product is offering to create real-time hyper-personalized user journeys and interactive experience for online shoppers.
With the metaverse rapidly taking shape and retail commerce becoming integrated with virtual reality and the metaverse, renovai could stand a good survival chance. There's only one way to know if they'd survive for sure; that's time-traveling to the future.
Evmux: Virtual events are gradually taking form. Evmux, a live streaming platform, was launched to close a gap in the virtual event space. While many digital meeting apps like Zoom, Meet, and Team are designed to handle corporate virtual meetings, they've been used to host virtual weddings and live events. It's clear that these event hosts were merely improvising. Evmux launched to rid the industry of the need for improvisation.
It is equipped with a "push-to-talk' feature to keep discussions organized. Although this feature isn't new in the virtual event hosting space (it's seen on Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces, etc.), Evmux has intentions of making it a worthwhile experience for users.
Where will it lead them? We just have to find out!
bluecap™: A personal favorite, this intelligent office assistant is a typical example of a product with the potential to take a life of its own. The creators launched the product to help companies transition into the new hybrid work environment, stay on top of company-wide communication, optimize productivity and collaboration, and improve corporate culture. However, as users try out the beta version of the product, new use cases are being discovered, including possible integration with senior care centers, use as household assistant, and event organizer.
We can't say for sure what the future holds for bluecap™, but a lot of its early-stage users are rooting for it. We just have to stick around to see where it leads, don't we?
ConclusionDespite the high rate of startup failure in the US, it doesn't hurt to be optimistic about some revolutionary product launches in a year of global recovery. Millions of startups and their founding team are working to roll out new products to solve humanity's endless problems. And we are all rooting for their success. For startups still trying to find their way around product launch, the seven-step approach discussed above is a good place to start.