Your creative future starts here:
12 steps to launching a new product
So, you’ve got your killer product idea and now you have to launch it and get people to buy it. How should you approach this?
Serial entrepreneur, leader within the British bodywear industry and UAL Short Courses tutor, Nichole de Carle, shared 12 steps to launching a product.
1. Define Your Target Audience and know how to reach them
Defining your target audience gives you direction in your marketing, facilitates more consistency in your messaging and allows you to authentically connect with your customers. Get in the mind of your target audience and understand where the best place to reach them is and how they will interpret your ad.
2. Know The Problem You’re Solving
Always stay focused on your “who” and “why.” Test it with your personas, talk to them about it, and know it is something that will fulfill an unmet need first.
3. Understand The Buying Journey
The buying process forms the foundation of all marketing and sales activities. You need to have an intimate understanding of the buyer’s pain points, where they get their information and who influences the purchase.
4. Secure Your Online Identity
In today’s world, we have seen numerous cybersquatters try to take advantage of businesses who do not secure their domain name, trademark, social media accounts, etc. It is critical to secure all these before launching anywhere. Here are some tips on how to create a marketing campaign.
5. Validate Your Product
If people won’t buy the product or service based on a pitch, they probably won’t buy the product or service when it exists. An easy way to do this is to develop a landing page. Run ads. See if anyone clicks the “Buy Now” button. If so, you’ve got validation.
6. Know Your Competition And Be Different
We see many “Me Too” brands popping up that want to ride the trend wave and cash in on others fast-growing successes. Instead of following this knee-jerk reaction, look to what makes you different. Figure out your brand differentiators and build your story around that.
7. Lay Out A Comprehensive Strategic Plan
Every brand should engage in thorough strategic planning before launching any product. This includes things such as evaluation of the marketplace/competition, SWOT, determining ROI, how to measure success and communications planning.
8. Create Brand Voice Guidelines
After you have established a strong brand, you must create guidelines for the brand’s voice and tone. Don’t enter the market without knowing who you are and how you want to interact with the world. Consistency is key for a brand, so you want to set the team up for success when it comes to broadcasting brand messages.
9. Offer Early Use Incentives
You want to create a buzz around your product before its launch. One of the best ways to do this is to offer discounts for preorders, free first-time uses, and beta participation rewards that entice users to buy upon launch. This is awesome product promotion, too. No one expects a product to be perfect in beta, so test, gather feedback and refine.
10. Keep Testing It
Launching a new product or service isn’t easy. The one thing every brand should do beforehand is test it; test it until it breaks and then test it some more. Collecting feedback and insight will help you get closer to delivering the experience you intended. And of course, you’ve also got to get all of your marketing materials together, too!
11. Know What You Don’t Know
In my experience, many who launch products are good at something but not all things. Before you launch, understand your limitations and either hire or more commonly outsource the skills you need, both immediately and when things start to take off. Rapid success can lead to failure if you haven’t thought through this first.
12. Know Your Story
Understand your story so well that you can tell it to anyone: media, new customers, brands you can co-market with, and more. If you can’t clearly say who you are, what you do, and what inspired you, you will lose anyone who could help you.
If you are looking for further advice on how to start your own fashion business, check out our insider's guide.
We interviewed 16 fashion business entrepreneurs to get ideas, insights and insider tips on how to launch and grow a fashion startup.