8 Stages of Launching a New Product to Market
May 18, 2022 Edwin Kooistra
When you talk about launching a new product in a new market, especially as a business owner, the idea might seem exciting at first, but it is not an easy task and requires a lot of preplanning and critical thinking.
Even when you’re launching a new product for your current market segment (the one you are operating in), it requires much effort at once and a strategic map. Still, even then, sometimes, if you lose out and the launch backfires. Then imagine launching a new product for a new market segment that you do not have prior experience with.
This means that you will not only be required to put in many markets research-based tactics but also need to divert a lot of resources, both human and fiscal, towards the launch. This is because this opportunity to launch a new product in a new market, especially if you talk about the B2B industry or the tech sector, is a make-or-break opportunity.
A successful launch for a new market segment does not only help your company grow strategically but also sends out a message in the market and the industry about how well organized and strengthened your internal mechanisms are.
That said, a new market presents opportunities for growth and expansion that may not exist in your current market. So, how do you identify potential new markets for your products? And once you’ve identified them, what’s the best way to enter them? This blog post will answer those questions and provide steps on how to launch a new product in new market.
What is a New Product Launch?
When we talk about a new product launch, we refer to all the efforts, actions, and tactics that a business or organization deploys to bring a brand new or improved product offering or service to the market. We have a separate guide on what is a product launch if you want more in-depth detail.
Anyway, we mentioned “market” earlier. We were referring to a particular industry. In further refined forms, we mean the target market segment towards which the product or service is directed to address a specific pain point or need.
When we talk about a new product launch, we refer to a new product in a new market along with all the essential steps starting from market research to final execution that an organization has taken while keeping all the relevant stakeholders in view.
Despite the basic framework being common in launching a new or improved product for an already known segment versus for a new market, these are two different scenarios that need to be approached by a business owner or any organization with different mindsets and different sets of capabilities.
How to Launch an Existing Product Into the New Market?
As we have developed an understanding of the launch of a new product and its critical issue, we shall also reflect on how you can launch an existing product for a new market segment. We shall look at it in a step-by-step approach under the following stages.
- Develop Customer Personas
- Know How to Reach Your Segment
- Be Aware of the Pain Point
- Understand the Journey
- Know Your Competitors
- Develop a Strategic Plan
- Execute and Launch
- KPIs, Revisions, and Improvements
Let’s look at these different steps with extended detail to understand further how we can launch an existing product into the new market.
1. Develop Customer Personas
First and foremost, launching an existing product or a new market segment requires conducting extensive market research. You must conduct different surveys. Another activity is to gather information regarding the market segments’ demographics and psychographics.
After which, you need to utilize all the gathered information to create customer personas. These customer profiles should describe and outline your target customer within this segment in the utmost detail, starting from their age, profession right up to their likes and dislikes.
The more detailed and well-executed this step of the process is, the easier it is for you to adapt the rest of the strategic plan in case of any required changes and adjustments.
Know How to Reach Your Segment
Now that you have developed your customer personas and have extensive knowledge about your target segment, you need to build a strategic plan for reaching out to this new segment.
Unlike the segment you’re already operating in, the part does not necessarily need to require the same communication or content-based marketing strategies that you have deployed earlier. Therefore, based on your customer, you might want to dive into position-based segmentation and marketing messages to help you reach your new market segment more effectively.
Always remember that if you’re not able to reach out to your targeted segment efficiently, then all your efforts that you have made in launching a product or service for them lose their efficacy.
Be Aware of the Pain Point
Now, you need to ensure that you are aware of the issue or problem you are targeting to solve for this new market segment. Remember that the target customer prefers a solution over a product; therefore, you need to be aware of their pain points.
Imagine yourself in the shoes of this newer segment and how and why you would want your issue to be solved. Once you’re able to visualize all this, you will be able to develop an understanding of their issues and thus mold the product launch accordingly.
Understand the Journey
Remember that the key to attracting new customers and retaining those you already have lies in the success of the customer sales journey or the sales funnel. Therefore, develop a thorough understanding of how the customer will pass through the sales journey under different steps and phases.
Once you have developed this understanding, you will be able to tailor your marketing and customer attraction and retention efforts according to the different stages of the journey. This ensures efficiency and drives tangible results for all the steps you would put in.
Know Your Competitors
One of the essential steps involved in launching a product for a new market is having a thorough understanding and knowledge of your direct and indirect competitors. Your list of competitors will most definitely evolve when you target a new market despite having the same existing product.
This is an essential factor to understand. Once you can grab onto this understanding, you need to reevaluate your competitive sphere using different tools and techniques based on solid market research and information.
Now that you have developed a thorough understanding of your competitors, their product offerings, and how they address the different pain points of this new market segment, you can advance your launch approach accordingly to gain an edge over your competitors.
Develop a Strategic Plan
With all the market research and theoretical support material in place, you can now develop your strategic direction for launching the product for this new market segment.
In this step, you will start working on your strategic marketing plan, including different facets such as your product-market fit, go-to-market strategy, content-focused marketing plan, and other essential components of your product launch.
Execute and Review
With the plan in place, you can now execute it to launch your product for a new market segment. You need to ensure that it is rolled in a step-by-step and methodological manner to ensure a smooth operation.
Once you have executed the plan, you will also develop a mechanism to ensure a timely review to avoid any kinks and hurdles along the way. Always remember to create relevant performance indicators at this stage.
KPIs, Revisions, and Improvements
In the last phase of your product launch for the new market, you shall look at all the key performance indicators that you had put in place under your strategic plan. You will closely monitor all these KPIs and make revisions and improvements as required to the strategic plan and these performance indicators.
With their regular monitoring and an open mind to improvements and possible revisions, you will be able to adapt this strategic approach to newer markets and make it more efficient for the current market that you have just entered.
How to Launch a New Product in a New Market?
Earlier, we discussed how we could launch an existing product for a newer market segment following a step-by-step logic-based approach. But what about the time when we want to launch a new product for a new market segment altogether?
As discussed earlier, the basic framework remains the same for this launch, but a few factors and additional stages need to come into play when you are launching a new product or service for a new target market segment.
We shall discuss these additional factors apart from those already mentioned above in the following text.
Making a Prototype and Testing It
When you’re launching a new product service for a new market segment that you have not explored earlier, making a prototype or a minimum viable product (MVP) of your product offering and testing it for the market is always recommended.
This helps you receive essential feedback that you can incorporate into the product and change it accordingly. This also gives the market a little taste of what is about to come and when and how it will be able to cater to their needs and pain points with its value proposition.
No matter how much marketers focus on the value addition of a product, when you are trying to grow and enter a new market with a new product, it all comes down to the bottom line.
Therefore, number crunching is very important when introducing a new product in a new market. It would help if you used research-supported numbers and projections as close to reality as possible regarding profit, revenue, and costs.
Investors focus on these numbers while making decisions. The success of the launch of a new product in a relatively new segment is also measured by numbers, whether by the number of units sold or the percentage of profit margin.
For an existing product that you’re introducing into a newer segment, creating pre-hype using different marketing tools and tactics does not usually yield extremely tangible results as market awareness of the product is usually already there.
But with a new product targeted toward a new segment creating hype using different product marketing strategies and tools is critical. Your market needs to be excited about the product that you’re about to launch, and not only that, and it also needs to have general know-how of what the product is going to be about.
These pre-hype and early marketing campaigns focused on creating product and brand awareness will help you in the long run and add to your brand value and persona.
Benefits of Entering New Markets for Product Launch
Let us now look at some of the advantages that we can enjoy when we decide to enter and explore new and different market segments for product launches.
- You can increase your market share and grow in terms of profitability.
- Due to the economies of scale, you can increase your profit margin, which positively translates to business operations.
- You can strengthen your company reputation and build more on your brand persona by including more people under your brand umbrella.
- By entering newer markets, you can develop more unique business relationships and explore a new dimension of stakeholders, which you can leverage in the future for growth purposes.
- If the older segment becomes saturated or redundant, you can have an alternate market for your products and services.
- When you enter a new market, you’re diversifying your portfolio, thus reducing risk in the short and long run. This, of course, is very well received by your investors.
Example of a Product Launch in a New Market
We shall now look at an example of a product launch that used an existing product/service and launched it in a new market. This will help us further understand the launch process of products and how they enter more unique market segments.
Google Maps is widely regarded as one of the most groundbreaking technologies ever created, and it is often recognized for transforming the way we look around at geographical space. Google Maps combines detailed charts and directions, satellite imagery, traffic statistics, and google street view into a single program.
Every month, nearly one billion individuals throughout the world utilize the software. Google has spanned almost the whole globe and has regularly launched revolutionary features such as real-time traffic, sustainable and environment-friendly routes, collecting data from its one billion or more users to improve accuracy, indoor maps, etc.
Initially just targeted at individuals who were on the road, whether on foot or in vehicles, Google Maps was able to add all these features and gain immense popularity after it targeted a new market segment in the form of local travel enthusiasts.
This segment which Google Maps labels as local guides contributes to the Google Maps database by rating and ranking places such as eateries, restaurants, and even hospitals.
This launch of an existing product towards a newer market segment is not only exemplary in terms of how smoothly it was executed but also in the terms that the project itself has evolved further, and Google Maps was able to enter further newer segments using the experience of how it entered this segment in the first place.
While launching an existing product for a new market might not seem taunting, introducing a new product in new market segment is a more significant task at hand. Both types of launches require extensive planning and actions based on thorough market research.
But what sets them apart is how the launch of a new product for a new market segment creates revenues for both tangible and intangible growth in the form of increased profits and new beneficial relationships.
Depending on where your company or business is standing in its lifecycle, using both these launches in combination or isolation can help you prolong your growth stage and even avoid decline. Therefore, both these strategies should be understood and studied with utmost importance and be evaluated regularly as a part of your business strategy.