Launching a product in today’s market involves more than good design and efficient logistics. Here are 5 winning strategies to help successfully launch your next product.
1. Create a Product People Need
Start by focusing on developing a product that will serve a purpose, innovatively solve a real-world problem, and/or has a unique selling proposition (a factor that differentiates a product from its competitors)
As an active person balancing chronic back pain, I needed a way to easily ice my back without taking time out of my day, so my first Spand-Ice prototypes were based on my own needs. I wanted to create attractive clothing + long lasting hot and cold therapy that I could wear “on-the-go”, in public.
- Research the current market and identify what’s missing/problem that needs to be solved.
- Create early prototypes to test our idea; solicit a small sample group of friends and family
- Adjust and refine your prototype based on test user feedback
Ice and heat have been pain relievers for years so I wanted to come up with a concept that incorporated these aspects but was also differentiated by providing something new to consumers. I researched what was lacking in the current market for people suffering from chronic back pain and discovered that compliance, convenience, and time spent, were all factors in why people don’t currently treat inflamed areas on a regular basis with ice or heat. We then realized that thermal therapy clothing had game-changing potential and would benefit many people who deal with chronic pain on a regular basis. We used early prototypes to test our hypothesis amongst real people dealing with chronic pain. We learned that consumers found our product to be a convenient, easy, and a time efficient answer to their needs. They also gave us feedback on how we could improve and enhance the prototypes and from that Spand-Ice Revive Tank for managing back pain was born!
2. Share Your Story
Build interest and engagement with your target customer and existing audience throughout the process of creating a new product for example during the design and production process. More than ever, consumers value transparency and the opportunity to input.
4 Ways to Share Your Product Development Story
- Create an editorial journal or blog to document product development
- Use social media to share behind the scenes pictures of the development progress. You could even invite their feedback!
- Regularly send out an email update to your subscribers
- Pursue opportunities to share your product development and entrepreneurial lessons
We were able to create momentum with a larger community and connect with all different types of networks by using our blog and social media channels. I was also able to share insights on platforms like Maker’s Row to help other entrepreneurs learn more about producing products in the USA.
3. Make a Splash with Your Launch!
We used the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to help us launch and make a splash. We planned a 30-day campaign to fund our first production run and get our Revive Tank’s into people’s hands. To make an even bigger debut, we also planned a Kickstarter launch party. This launch party included a Twitter event to commence the campaign and a PR strategy to cast the widest net for campaign support. Through this collective effort, we got the buy-in of family and friends as well as people we didn’t know in the wider community.
4. Over-deliver on Campaign Promise
In order to keep our Kickstarter backers informed and educated on the development of our product, we sent them updates on factory trips, product developments, and production.
When it came time to ship the Revive Tanks out to our 273 backers, I wanted to make sure that my supporters were not only happy with the product, but also happy with how I ran my campaign. I included a handwritten thank you note in each package to thank my Kickstarter backers for their support in getting us through our first production run. Additionally, my team worked diligently to over-deliver on our promises, we were even able to ship our product to some of our backers ahead of schedule!
5. Prepare for What’s Next
We created a lot of momentum around the Kickstarter campaign however, we wanted to make sure we could continue to ride that wave after the campaign closed. In preparation for additional orders, we increased the size of our first production run and readied our Spand-Ice website with online shopping capabilities so that we could take orders as soon as the Kickstarter campaign was closed and funded.
- Build a relationship with local retail outlets and affiliates to help further expose your product to a broader yet targeted audience
- Get supporter feedback on how they use garments and what they like about them to help reach other potential buyers.
- Enroll in the Maker’s Row Academy Sourcing 101 E-Course (it’s free) to learn everything from sourcing manufacturers and fabrics, to best practices for working with a factory partner and how to make the most of these relationships. Click here to signup!
Ready to Start on Your Product?
Signup for a free Maker’s Row account and start a project!
If You Liked This Post, Check Out These!
- How to Start a Successful Clothing Brand: Luck or Innovative Product?
- Launching an Innovative Product with an American Factory
- Turning Your Next Great Idea into a Tangible Product
- How I Got My Prototype Ready for Production
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