Pre-Launch Phase

Little market research has been conducted on the product and the market, or both!

In today’s industries, market research has never been more important. Because of the internet, consumers are extremely well-informed and will not hesitate to punish you for making hasty decisions. If you ever find yourself trying to decide between launching and conducting more research, ALWAYS go with more research.

The product is interesting but lacks a precise market.

Speaking of research, one of the most important elements of effective marketing is accurate targeting. Knowing who you are targeting allows you to tailor your product to fit the specific needs of your customer. Maybe you have a new energy drink concept targeted at young people, ages 18-25. That is a good start, but now we have to dive deeper. What KIND of young person are you targeting? Is it a gamer, who might prefer technology-themed packaging? Is it a college athlete, who would prefer an endorsement of their favorite sports hero? Answering these questions are crucial if you want to succeed as an inventor.

The marketing campaign is developed in-house by the manufacturer and lacks objectivity.

A lack of objectivity generally leads to what we in the business like to call “groupthink.” To summarize the mentality, people make stupid decisions when there is no one to challenge the group. It is always beneficial to have a fresh pair of eyes to help identify problems and brainstorm solutions.

Most of the budget was used to create the product; little is left for launching, marketing, and selling it.

A lot of customers I consult severely underestimate the costs that can accrue during product development, leading them to run out of money before the real marketing comes in. Proper budgeting is so important in many aspects of life and launching a new product is no exception. Take time to create an extensive budget so you know how much money you are working with when making business decisions. Plus, showing a sample budget can only help your case when pitching to investors!

Launch Phase

The product is launched too hastily and doesn’t work reliably.

It is so important not to rush a launch phase, mostly due to the fact that so many things could go wrong during the process. Identifying risks and developing possible contingency plans is a must. One possible risk is that your manufacturer cannot back up their claims; products could become defective, possibly dangerous if the defect is allowed to progress. A governing body such as the Federal Trade Commission could even pull the product, citing false claims. Even if none of the above occur, the consumers themselves will eat you alive with poor reviews!

The product has no trained spokesperson to educate the media.

This point is especially true for new or “first of its kind” products. Your customers need to understand the benefits of the product and how it is going to improve their lives; a job fit for a spokesperson! The friendly face of a famous athlete, an actor, or an average Joe can help educate the media on how your product functions, looks, and performs.

Management launches the marketing campaign before distribution is complete.

There is nothing more frustrating to a consumer than seeing a commercial for a product and not being able to obtain it, especially if there is not a high demand for the product. Making sure that retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, etc. are fully stocked and on the same page will definitely help in the long run.