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Why You Need a Product Launch Checklist

Ensure your new product launch is a success with a product launch checklist. Use our checklist to help you get organized.

Why You Need a Product Launch Checklist

Part of owning a small business, medium company, or even a large enterprise is knowing how to market new products. Marketing a new product isn't an easy process because various steps are involved in a successful promotional strategy.

For instance, you want to conduct product-market fit research for each new product to determine your target market. Your next step is creating promotional content that appeals to your target audience. And sometimes, your audience might not be who you're used to marketing to, which you'll need to consider before you build your plan.

And this is merely one example of what must be on your product launch checklist. What else do you have to add? We're going to explain what a product launch checklist is, what it needs to include, and other helpful tips for marketing a new product.

What is a product launch checklist?

Before discussing a product launch plan checklist too much, let's first discuss what one is.

Simply put, a product release checklist is a list of tasks you must complete to launch a product successfully. It's important that the list is in order, so you know exactly which step to follow and when. If you happen to complete one task before another, it could cost your business a great deal financially in the long run.

You may even want to extend the list or make a second one that explains the entire product life cycle to keep yourself organized.

But why should you use a checklist? Thousands of products are created and launched annually, but only 5% of them are successful and able to generate a profit. In order to be a part of that small percentage, it’s a good idea to organize yourself with a product launch checklist. This way, you can adequately prepare for anything that may come your way as you launch your new product.

Advantages of planning your product launch

Product launch planning is one of the most vital aspects of product marketing. It essentially sets the pace for the future of the product.

Successful planning doesn't only help gain recognition for the product but your business as well. A poor product launch may reflect negatively on your business, which can cause stakeholders and investors to cut back on their support.

With so much riding on your product launch, it's no wonder having a product rollout checklist is so vital. The list ensures you don't miss a pivotal step in the launch process, and it keeps you organized so you're not just guessing and going with the flow. Plus, this checklist can be seen by your entire staff, so everyone is on the same page and knows when deliverables are due.

As you create a product release checklist, you can build a plan for all the what-ifs. For example, think about what happens if you have more customers than anticipated. If you prepare in advance, you can tackle the problem because you'll have a strategy.

Product launch checklist

While telling you to have a product launch checklist to market your small business and product is helpful, you may not know where to begin. That's when you need insight into the steps of an effective product rollout checklist.

To ensure you get started on the right foot, we've included a few of the most important steps below.

But before you create your list, make sure to determine your goals. Know exactly what you want to achieve with your product launch. You can then take the necessary measures to get your product there.

Know your customers and target audience

Your first step should be getting to know your potential customers. By understanding who these individuals are, their average income, and various other details about them, you can develop more efficient marketing strategies. You'll be focused on the people most likely to buy your product.

When you include this on your list, you'll want to take it further and break it down into the stages necessary to identify your target audience, such as performing market research. Brainstorm who would like your product the most. Think about their characteristics, like age, income, likes, and dislikes.

You may want to create a persona, which is a fictitious person who would be your customer and think about everything regarding their lifestyle and desires. Are they busy and want a smooth and speedy buying process? Is their main focus luxury or comfort?

Once you understand your audience, you may want to conduct interviews with a few of them to get more insight. You could also observe people interacting with your product.

Consider building a survey questionnaire. With this method, you create a survey and ask questions to help you better understand your target audience, including their wants and needs for a product. Besides being an effective and easy way to conduct research, this is also inexpensive.

Position your brand and product

Positioning your brand and product is a strategy used in branding. It's the difference between people knowing the name of your company and product and your product becoming synonymous with your niche.

Look at Coca-Cola, for example. Their positioning has placed them as a frontrunner. How often have you heard someone say, "Can you grab me a Coke?" when they're talking about soda in general?

Keep in mind that you'll need to position your brand or product as a valuable option. At this stage, you may want to research your competition. Rather than copying their plan, create something new and exciting that outdoes what they're currently offering.

Consider various aspects of your brand when you're positioning your product. Customer service is one example. If you're working one-on-one with customers, you'll want to have a friendly staff. You can highlight your customer support team if you're offering technological products that require onboarding.

Pitch your product to stakeholders

The next step on your product launch plan checklist is to pitch your product to stakeholders. You need that financial backing to keep going.

Rather than just adding this step to your list, make sure you have a detailed plan on how you're going to pitch your product. Ideally, you'll start by explaining the problem you're solving and how your product stands out. You'll then want to present at least 3 supporting arguments that show your product in the best light.

Make a timeline

Even if you use a product launch checklist template, you won't have an exact time frame. However, you can get a relatively close one by determining each step and putting them in order with an anticipated launch date. You may need to adjust the timeline as time goes on.

Build a marketing strategy

You can now build a marketing strategy. For this, you'll want to list every step you must take to get your product out there and inform people about it. You can post about your new product on your website. Doing so can help notify current customers of your new product, and then they can pass the information to their friends.

You'll want to think about any print advertisements or TV commercials you'll want to have. This part of the process may also include going to trade shows and using email automation.

Ideally, you'll work with the sales team and marketing department to define your product and create promotional content.

Design your marketing and sales content

Once you know your plan, you can dive into your marketing content. This may include creating both digital and print content. You may want to make one or more press releases to get the word out about your new product.

Launch your product

You're finally ready to launch your product. This is the part of the process where you might be shipping your product to stores, going to tradeshows, and so forth. Sometimes, you might just be waiting for the orders to come in and fulfilling them in a timely manner.

Analyze your launch

After you launch your product, it's time to watch the results. See where you're getting the most sales. If you don't have a significant amount of sales, it might be necessary to reevaluate your launch and try other means. If you're having some success, it might be time to ride the current plan and reap the reward for your efforts.

You may also want to conduct a survey and hear what people think about your launch and the product. You then may use this as a guide to determine which parts of the launch were successful and where you need to make changes with this product and future ones.

While launching a new product may seem stressful, here are a few tips that can make the process easier:

  • Plan early
  • Collaborate with influencers, celebrities, and local figures
  • Host a giveaway on social media and other avenues
  • Create and share your press release
  • Be realistic about what to expect

Stay organized with a product launch checklist

As you can see, using a product launch checklist is necessary to keep yourself organized. You can then use it as a guide and ensure you stay on task and complete everything required. Using this guide also allows your staff to remain on track with deliverables.

Mailchimp's marketing tools and services can help increase the success of your product launch. Use our email marketing, automation, social media, and ad tools to build an effective promotional strategy for your new product.

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