Coming up with a noteworthy idea is impressive on its own, but managing to get your product manufactured and actually launched on a market is by far a much greater feat. Typically, engineers may not always be the greatest market specialists, and to be able to get a product noticed by a potential buying public, needs teamwork outside of a pure engineering sphere. Every year thousands of new products are introduced to market but fail because they have not been marketed to the right buying group in the right way. Simply designing and manufacturing a new product is not sufficient in itself and no certainty of international sales.
Product Launch Rules
Getting your new product noticed is a tricky business, but can be made easier and a lot less stressful if you plan and follow a few simple rules.
Understanding the market
What market is your new product heading for? You must select and understand your market before you can even plan a marketing strategy, as different markets may rely on and use advertising and marketing in different ways. If your product is a new hair-styling device, you may need to consider trade shows and industry magazines, whereas if it is destined for the medical industry, then direct contact with hospitals or governing bodies may be the best method. By understanding your market, you will begin to define your marketing strategy and which channels – such as internet, catalogues, or dealerships – are best suited to your product.
Ensure that there is a market
This may sound odd, but if your new product is truly revolutionary, it may be too much for the people it is intended for. For example, the Segway from Sinclair C5 vehicles befell a similar fate for the same reason – there simply was not a market for the vehicle and so it failed badly. The little two-wheeled vehicle was supposed to be filling the market at 10,000 units a month, but five years after its launch to an eyebrow-raising public, it barely sold 24,000 units. The product itself is great, and works exactly as intended; it’s just that the public don’t see a niche for it.
Define your competition
Almost all markets have at least one competitor, and if your device is going up directly against a competitor, you will need to understand how your product will fare against them. You may be in direct completion, which is always going to be the toughest stance, or may have a new angle on an existing product. If the second case is applicable to you, you may have much more leverage, as customers won’t regard you as a simple “me too” alternative to the existing product. This will be part of your goal setting, which will be a major factor in defining how, when, and where you will launch. Your competitors are the people you are trying to dislodge and replace, so you need to understand them.
Ensure that your product is ready
Once you launch, you only want to hear good publicity and feedback to the market that your product is the one to get. That’s not going to happen if, once launched, you find that you have problems to fix or have to supply software updates. It is said that there is no such thing as bad publicity, but if your product gets a reputation for being incomplete or not up to the job that it was designed for, you run the risk of losing serious sales as a result. Always make sure that your product is tested, up to date, and capable of doing exactly what it is supposed to do. To release your product too early could have devastating consequences.
There is no point in designing your new product and then thinking about how to launch it. The two processes go hand in hand and must be considered as an extension of each other. So, before you even get scrap paper out to start making rudimentary sketches of the idea that is rattling around your mind, start thinking about your market in terms of whether you have one, and how your product is likely to be received before committing good time and money to the launch process. In this way, you will be able to define your market position and create something truly great.
Pivot International is a product design, development, and manufacturing firm with extensive experience in the medtech industry. If you are interested in engineering a new product or updating an existing product, contact us at 1-877-206-5001 or request your free consultation today.