So, you’ve invested a significant amount of time and money developing a killer new product. You’ve created prototype after prototype, spent months deliberating over every detail of the packaging and tasked the very best marketing talent with building eye-catching branding that looks like nothing else on the shelves. And then, finally, your product is ready to launch in your target markets… But what about your product launch plan?
Developing a new product to be launched internationally is a mammoth project that takes passion, dedication and hard work in abundance. But without an effective and well-researched plan, you could risk finding your product part of the 80% of new products that fail, rendering your months (or years) of hard work worthless.
The power of the product launch plan
In an ever-competitive global market, simply sending out an amateur-looking press release to publicise your product’s launch will no longer cut it. Instead, you need to create expectation, buzz and, most importantly, a connection with customers that can transcend international borders.
Sounds straightforward enough, doesn’t it? Implementing a winning product launch plan is perfectly achievable, as long as you understand the potential pitfalls before you begin.
Allow us to take you through the top 3 mistakes to avoid when crafting the perfect global product launch plan, so that you can hit the ground running when it comes to your international launch.
Neglecting to invest in localised marketing and branding
One of the most common mistakes made during new product launches is the failure to connect with the target customers, which can be the difference between the product flying off the shelves or being destined to flop. This can be all down to a lack of investment in localised marketing and branding.
- First thing’s first: The product development stage needs to include in-depth market research so you can get to know your target customers better, identify your competitors and explore where your product will fit in your target markets.
- You will then need to map out your entire product launch plan, from pre-launch to post-launch – the more thorough, the better.
- Next, it is essential to invest in professional language services from the get-go to enable you to convey your brand story to a multicultural, multilingual audience.
Along with translation of your branded content, such as your website, press releases, video content and packaging, localisation ensures that your marketing material is perfectly suited to your target market.
Localisation services take into account the cultural norms and sensitives of your target market and adapts your copy or multimedia content with your company goals in mind.
Whether your product launch is based in the USA, Spain, Australia or the Middle East, localisation is an invaluable tool. It consists not only of adapting spelling and vocabulary to suit a specific region, but considering the cultural connotations of particular colour palettes, images and designs to guarantee the best possible results.
Ensure that you partner with an agency that understands your business objectives and is experienced in product launches across international markets. It is also crucial that your partner only uses localisation specialists who are native to the country that you’re aiming to engage.
Failing to prepare for global growth
You may feel as though you’re fully-prepared for your product to succeed, but you should consider whether your sales predictions are too modest.
What if your product suddenly receives an unexpected flurry of press coverage, or is an instant hit with customers? Does your company have the infrastructure to cope with dramatically increased demand, particularly on a global scale?
What’s more, do you have the resources to offer efficient and effective multilingual customer service, when we live in a world where 75% of online customers expect a response to their query within five minutes?
In practical terms, it is wise to invest in professional translation and language services as early as possible, allowing you to build a bank of autoreplies in multiple languages and translations of key documents that you’ll be able to use time and time again, such as key product details, troubleshooting information and FAQs.
Furthermore, hiring multilingual staff could actually save you money long-term and would be a smart business move if you are concerned about supporting rapid international growth.
Don’t leave it down to chance: Prepare now for a potential surge in demand and ensure that you’ve given your product every possible chance to succeed.
Not taking feedback on board
Even after meticulous research, planning and execution, you should expect to make mistakes and encounter obstacles. Even tech giants like Google have experienced product launch flops. Ever heard of Google Wave? Us neither.
But a key factor in Google’s continued success is that they invest a significant chunk of their resources in self-evaluation and gathering feedback, which makes their next launch even more successful that before.
Although you probably don’t have a Google-sized budget, it’s easier than ever to learn from your customers about what works and what doesn’t. Consider integrating a ‘Contact us’ option on your website or offering your customers an incentivised feedback survey – just ensure that each option is available in your customer’s language.
It’s down to you to find the appropriate channels for feedback and decide who is responsible for analysing the responses. Will this be your customer service team, for example? If so, this could be even more of a reason to invest in building effective, multilingual customer service.
It is crucial that those responsible for managing feedback communicate regularly with the launch team, giving the company the opportunity to implement or plan any necessary changes as soon as possible.
Lastly, don’t forget to plan post-launch analysis so that you can be even better prepared for your next launch.
How can we help you implement a killer product launch plan?
Here at Wolfestone, we’ve worked on product launches for both multinational companies and SMEs. We’re experts in localising individual documents to entire campaigns, and we have a track record of helping clients successfully take their products and services abroad. Get in touch with our friendly team and find out how we can help you reach your goals.
Article written by Sofia Lewis, Wolfestone contributor.