I know you have been waiting eagerly for the final three steps on how to prepare a plan to introduce a new product. While the first 4 steps focus on the theoretical planning stages of the plan, these 3 steps have everything to do with execution. And what is a good plan without a clear way to get it done. So here we go:
Step 5: Position your Product. Based on the insights and information gleaned from the above steps, focus specifically on your new product and analyze its position. How is it different from what’s available? How is it the same? Remember, even if you clearly see it as different (i.e. better) than what your competition offers, don’t assume that your prospective customers will see things as clearly. So go beyond physical or specification distinctions, and anticipate how your product will be perceived by your customers and in your marketplace. When you do this, you’ll likely be surprised – perhaps even amazed – that you need to proactively make key adjustments to avoid having your product misunderstood by the very people you need to impress.
Step 6: Create your Action Plan. Here’s where you’ll take everything from steps 1 through 5 and put it into a structured action plan – which, in effect, will be a project. As such, make sure that you use robust and easy-to-use project management software here, so that you can clearly see how your action plan holds together – or how it doesn’t. Remember, many products “lose their way” on the way to market. This is either because too much time was spent in one or more steps, or more often, not enough time in one or more steps. Creating your action plan with the help of professional project management software will help you objectively see whether you’re positioning your product to successfully make to market.
Step 7: Execute your Action Plan. After all of the hard work invested in the previous steps – especially step 6 – it’s time to hit the switch and execute your action plan. Again, be sure that you use the right project management software here to keep everything on track; especially as it relates to costs and resource allocation. It’s fine to spend a few weeks on market research or performing a S.W.O.T. analysis. But a few months? That may be (and probably is) far too long. If left unchecked, these mistakes derail and undermine your product launch goals.
Some Final Advice
Spending time and in some cases money and other resources on each of the 7 steps above may be a challenge – especially if you’re eager and enthusiastic about getting your product to market, and don’t want to be bogged down by research, plans and project management. Furthermore, you may not want to “waste time” preparing to introduce your product if there’s a spectacular opportunity for you to win customers from your competition.
All of this makes sense, and the advice here isn’t to spend months on end planning and preparing your product for market. Rather, the advice here is to impress upon you that once your product is launched, trying to “go back in time” and take care of any of these steps is risky, costly and can be fraught with quality problems. In other words, the old adage “an hour of planning saves a week of correction” most certainly applies.
So do yourself, your business and especially your future happy customers a big favour: spend the required time (and not a moment longer!) on the steps above, and you’ll position your product to be a huge success.
And isn’t that how you want this product development dream to end?