How to Create a Product Launch That Doesn’t Suck

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Companies launch 30,000 new consumer products every year in the United States — and shockingly, 95 percent of these products fail.  In many cases, customers just didn’t take to the product.  But, for others, it was the product launch that went wrong — the sequence of events that preceded and surrounded the release of the product.

If you are about to bring a new product to the market, do not make the same mistakes as other executives.  Here is how to create a product launch that doesn’t suck.

  1. Use Influencers to Create Demand

Research shows that 49 percent of all consumers depend on influencers when making purchasing decisions.  It seems, then, that many consumers trust the opinions of influencers (including celebrities) more than established brands.

Think about George Clooney in the Nespresso TV commercials.  This is a great example of influencer marketing.  Consumers favor famous names who sell products and services on social media, too.  Fashion blogger Julie Sarinana for H&M; hip-hop artist DJ Khaled for Stride Gum; Lifestyle blogger Kate La Vie for Naked Juice — these are just a few examples of social media influencer campaigns that generated lots of click-throughs and conversions.

You might not have the marketing budget for an A-lister to advertise your products, but incorporating influencer marketing into your campaigns could provide you with a significant return on your investment.

  1. Use Demand Planning

Many product launches fail because brands and manufacturers are unable to gauge demand for their products.  They might do some market research to see if there is an appetite for a particular service, but this method does not always provide accurate results.

Using demand planning, however, helps you determine interest in your new product.  As a result, you can execute a more successful product launch.

“One of the biggest challenges companies face is predicting demand for new products over time,” says Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.  “Overestimate it, and risk warehouses full of excess inventory.  Underestimate it, and your customers could leave empty-handed — or you might be left with a hefty bill for expedited delivery.”

Forecasting demand for new products can be difficult, so you need specialized digital tools to help you facilitate this process.  Software, like Vanguard, helps forecast the success of products as they move through your supply chain, so you can make accurate predictions in real time that grow your business.

  1. Use Analytics

You can use analytics before, during, and after your product launch to ensure your supply chain processes are working properly.  This way, you can anticipate future demand and determine whether your influencer campaigns are working.

The best analytics tools use key performance indicators (KPIs) that measure the success of your product launch, like growth rates.  You can also use these programs for cost allocation and profitability analysis to reduce product launch spending.

With predictive analysis software, you can gain valuable insights into your product launches that you cannot find anywhere else.  In fact, this data could make or break the success of your new product.

Product launches are difficult and the vast majority of them fail completely.  You can avoid this by investing in an influencer, marketing, using demand planning, and accessing the latest analytics.