Determining the Right Timing for a Product Launch
It’s important to get the timing of your product launch right. Around 13% of startups failed because of mistimed products. It was in fact, the tenth biggest reason for startup failures in 2018.
Timing is the number one factor that determines if a startup will be successful. If your idea comes too early, customers may not be ready for it. If your idea comes too late, you may not be able to squeeze in front of a market crowded with competitors. You can’t ignore timing even though there’s no scientific process for determining it.
Importance of Timing a New Product Launch
Launching a product is often a make-or-break moment for a small company. Effective timing is critical to attracting customers. It optimizes revenue and profit on a new product. In Neil Kokemuller‘s article at Chron, he cited the following importance of timing for a new product launch:
You want to launch your product at the perfect point. When the market is most anxious for the features and benefits offered by your product or service based on customer preferences. It will attract the most sales and generate the most revenue.
Your competitor’s launch also affects the timing of your launch. First-movers try to beat the market to attract eager buyers. Other companies prefer being a second-mover. They waited until the market becomes familiar with the product features. Then, they launch when demand begins to grow.
The timing of your launch may also affect the quality of the product at offering. The life cycle is often short for companies who rushed production and quality suffered. A pilot rollout is often a good first step. It’s a way to get real customer feedback on the first batch of product and adjust the next wave before it hits retailers.
The Marketing Process
The product’s launch needs to be in sync with marketing activities. Use advertising and other promotional techniques to introduce the product’s benefits to targeted customers. Establishing a product launch date and building toward that, and then launching on time is important. Missing a marketed product launch date can alienate customers.
How to Determine the Right Timing
When is the right time to launch a new product or service? There’s no scientific process for determining it. Omar Zenhom, in his article at The $100 MBA, suggested these five factors to determine the right timing for a product launch:
The Readiness of the Product
In general, the best time to launch is as soon as your product is ready. Release a product as soon as it’s working. It has to perform the stated function, and that’s all. Do all the honing and perfecting while it’s already in the market. You can start profiting from your product before you start tweaking it. Take advantage of customer excitement. Then sell the refined versions later.
That’s not to say you should release something inferior to the public, of course. It describes a different way of looking at product development. Product development should be a never-ending process. It’s a lifelong struggle for perfection that’s never actually achieved. Knowing that, why not make money as soon as the product is viable? If Apple waited until the first iPhone could do what the latest ones can, we’d still be flipping open our Nokia.
The exact time of the year, month, and even week you choose can make a difference. Ask yourself these questions:
- Is there a particular time when your target audience will want to use that product?
- When would they enjoy your product most?
Practices and research prove that Tuesday is the best day for kicking off your product. On Mondays, consumers are too focused on the coming week. While on Fridays, people look forward to the weekend. On Tuesdays, you can be sure that people have already dealt with cases from the previous week. It also gives you enough time – a total of three days to spread your message and follow up on questions.
A seasonal product will itself determine the best time of the year to launch. Self-improvement products can work well in January to help fulfill New Year’s resolutions. While outdoor products are best for spring and summer.
The time of the year matters as well. It doesn’t make sense to reveal your product before a major holiday. People tend to travel back home and have no time to read when surrounded by family and friends.
Your ideal launch time will also depend on your own schedule. Schedule the launch when you have as little going on as possible. so that you can devote the needed time and energy for the launch. It makes sense to focus on product launches over other considerations. You only get one shot at this, after all. Expect glitches, customer service issues, and other unpredictable demands on your attention. It’s important to have all hands on deck, and yourself at the helm, ready to execute the launch with 100% presence.
There are conditions you need to meet to have a successful product launch.
- First, establish your brand’s credibility to justify excitement for your new product. If you haven’t already given your consumer base a reason to trust you, it’s time to lay that groundwork down. More customers will be willing to gamble on the certainty that a product will meet their needs.
- Make sure that you prepare your r business infrastructure for the jump in sales. Is your distribution system in place? Is your payment system glitch-free? Do you have team members standing by for customer service and tech support? Expect success, and you’ll guarantee it.
- Finally, time the launch in relation to existing products and their performance. The best time to launch a new product is when another product of yours is reaching the peak of its success. You can ride that momentum into the next wave of sales.
The best way to ensure that your launch goes well is to have a unique and creative product in the first place. Beyond that, it’s a matter of communication. Stay in touch with your audience. Use email and social media to build excitement around your product, and be there to usher it into the market. Expect the unexpected. Be ready to handle questions, concerns, and other feedback from your audience. Stand by your product, and listen for all the notes it hits with your audience. You’ll need to know what went well, and what didn’t. The day of your big launch is the day you start preparing for the next one.
There are many reasons for the failure of a new business startup. By being aware of those mistakes, you can learn how to avoid them in your business.