Rolling out a new product? Follow these 10 steps to ensure a successful launch

1) Understand your market

Hopefully you did plenty of research before designing your product, but now that it’s finished, it’s time to go back and take a deeper look at your potential audiences. Focus groups, experiments, surveys, and expert interviews can all act as a resourceful marketing tool to help you better understand your customers

2) Test it, and test it again

Owners make this mistake far too often. They get excited about a new product, and jump to mass production before thoroughly testing their invention. Having to recall your product will be detrimental to the success of your company.

3) Create the story, aligning with your brand identity

What’s the purpose behind the product? Why was your company the one to invent it? How does it fit in to your overall brand? If you can’t answer these questions, PR professionals and potential customers will be weary of promoting your product. Sloppiness, or a lack of brand identity surrounding your product will result in uninspired customers.

4) Offer early incentives, acting as a ‘soft launch’

Why launch your product to the masses when you can do a soft launch filled with people of your own network who can offer objective feedback? You can then use that feedback to perfect your product before mass production

5) Bootstrapping > Pouring thousands of dollars into large marketing campaigns

I get it. You have a great product, and you want to create the most amazing marketing campaign to go along with it. But it’s 2018, the internet is a tool in itself, and there are plenty of free marketing tools to help you successfully market your product. You can use Canva to create free, professional looking marketing tools. Google Analytics provides a wealth of information regarding your website & social traffic, and Facebook pixel advertising has been proven to reap huge results, with owners pouring 0 dollars into the social platform.

6) Know your competition as well as you know yourself

What is your direct competitors plans for the near future? Do they have anything similar to your product? Is there a chance they can copy your idea and make it into their own? Is there a way that you could potentially work together, or join forces on this one project? People often look at competition as the enemy, but why? Competition, especially in the business world, can be a great resource for your business. Notice what they're doing well. Track their customer feedback, and take a mental note of what people wish they improved on. 

7) Pricing is key

Turning a profit is important, and if you have investors, that's going to be the figure that everyone is most concerned with. However, a cultural shift is happening within our capitalist society. That shift is a consumer base that is becoming more aware of where their dollars are going. If you're price gauging, your customers will notice, and any trust that they once had will be diminished. 

8) Make it about more than just the product

You need to show to your customers that the main reason you created your product isn't to make money, but rather to make their lives easier by providing a solution to a problem that they continually endure. Showcase how with your product, life is either more enjoyable, less stressful, or simply easier to navigate through.

9) Get partners involved

If you don't have partners, then get your network involved. One of the best ways to promote a product, is to have someone else do it for you. If a trusted company promotes your product it will add value to it because consumers will associate a positive feeling with it before it even reaches their hands. You can only tell your story so many times, it's important to seek other avenues to get your message across to potential consumers. 

10) Be patient

If your product doesn't go viral right away, don't worry. Success doesn't come overnight, and in many cases, it may take a few months to see the traction you envisioned from day one.

Pulling Back the Curtains: UL Certification

Underwriters Laboratory. It sounds like something out of a Cartoon Network show, or a secret creative writing workshop tucked away in an alley of New York City. Unfortunately for you, there is no secret society you’re missing out on, as the term simply stands for a long process involving product testing. However, albeit as boring as it may be, receiving a UL for your developed product can be the key component in the success of your company.

It can be difficult to market yourself and convince potential buyers that your solution is worth investing in if you have a new product within a well-established field. Perhaps the best way to combat this issue is by applying for, and receiving UL certification. A UL stamp of certification will show your potential consumers and the general public that your product meets the highest standard safety measures.

The reason that a UL is so well received, is simply due to the fact that they set the original standard for NRTLs. An NRTL is a nationally recognized testing laboratory program, and is what ensures the safety behind newer products to major industries. Currently, there stands less than 20 certified testing laboratories, offering a range of testing that involves major sectors such as the farming, mechanical, industrial, entertainment, and oil industry.

The cost and time frame of applying for a UL can be tricky, as there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Multiple variables play a part of the process, such as what market your product is intended for, as well as the unique design behind your potential moneymaker. One thing to keep in mind when applying for a UL is to thrive for transparency; a key mistake that young companies make is not providing enough valuable information surrounding their company and line of products, slowing down the entire process and potentially leading to more overhead costs.

A major complaint stemming from business owners who filed for a UL is that the process is long, demanding, and often requires multiple attempts. The best way to avoid this headache is by participating in a formal preliminary investigation with Underwriters Laboratory, which allows a team of engineers to oversee your entire design process long before it’s submitted to their official laboratory. The investigation will grant you communication to engineers working for UL, who can bring up potential problems with your product, saving you time, and money.

Lastly, it’s important to understand that filing for a UL is not always necessary, and should be avoided if possible as the costs and time frame behind the process can be quite extensive. However, if you’re competing in a market with multiple UL listed products, it might not only be encouraged, but downright necessary when it comes to the success of your new product. For example, if it plugs into a wall for a power source then it must be UL certified to be sold within the US market. From a business perspective, many owners will not touch a product that isn’t UL certified because it will come with little to no insurance.

If you have any questions surrounding a UL, or are interested in applying for a certification, follow this link or e-mail us with any specific questions.