Did you know about 95% of products fail in the first year of their launch? Whether it is a physical product or a digital application, a successful product launch begins at the ideation stage working backward from the customer. Regardless of the size of the organization, developing the product and preparing for the launch can be overwhelming. So, how do you improve the probability of success for your product at launch? Drawing from her experiences of being a serial entrepreneur and a corporate product leader, in this session, Amazon Sr. Product Leader, Sarika Tyagi will share, 1) a framework for improving the prospect of launching a successful new product, 2) common pitfalls to avoid when launching a new product, and 3) a checklist of actionable tasks before and after the product launches.
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On what launching a product means
There is a lot that goes into product launches. The process of planning, executing, and tracking the success of your product on the market requires a company-wide effort. The vision must be streamlined, and everyone must be on the same page. It is not a single event. Product launches are an ongoing strategic process. This is how to master the art of product launches:
“A product launch is a very well-coordinated effort with all the stakeholders that you work with. Your engineering, marketing, research team, product, and sales teams. All of these people work together to make this concept.”
“However, launching a product is often looked at as a sequential step to product development. So, the product development team will go ahead and design, develop, and then they’ll be like it’s ready. Go ahead and launch it. However, this leads to an increased failure potential for the product. Why? Because when you’re developing a product, it is extremely important to think about your product launch strategy. Which means, who is really going to consume your product?”
“It is also not just important to bring awareness and education of your product, but also the value it brings to the customers. It is equally important to engage, or allow your customers to engage, with your product before you expect them to buy your product.”
On developing a strategy for product launches
A good product launch strategy increases your brand awareness and your organization’s bottom line. It’s crucial that you catch both existing customers and potential customers. Product launches can be tricky. So, having a strategy that enables you to focus on a specific target market and feature set, will help keep you on track. Many steps, actions, and people are involved in product launches. Here is Sarika’s way of simplifying the process of product launches:
- Identify and find target customers
- Align on value delivered by product
- Spread awareness and education to customers
- Define the North Star
- Detail the marketing attributes
- Roadmap for product launches (tactical)
- Go/No-Go decision
- Launch and measure success
On questions to ask for product launches
It is extremely important to ensure that your product meets the needs of your customer and solves a real problem for them. Product managers need a framework for their product launches. And they need to have certain questions answered well before the launch. Your launch strategy will depend on your product type and what industry you are launching in. These are some strategies to increase brand awareness that depends on your industry:
“The first step is the identification of target customers. If it’s a B2C, you’re identifying your customer personas, your buying patterns, your demographics, and the pain points. But if you’re selling it to a business, then you’re not necessarily looking at your customer persona, but more so at your company persona.”
“If it’s a B2C then you would be you’d be writing blogs, doing social media pages for user engagement, Google ads, SEO, website creation.”
“When it comes to B2B products, you could go to conferences, sponsor booths, industry journals, share demos, or go on road shows. Make sure you’re engaging with your stakeholders at regular intervals. So that you can keep your customers engaged and stay on the roadmap.”
About the speaker
Over 18 years, Sarika Tyagi has built and launched products across multiple industries as an entrepreneur and as a product leader in large organizations. As a first-time entrepreneur, she launched ScarletFreshShoe, an e-commerce company that sells shoe care and comfort products for women’s dress shoes, which is now her side gig. Her second venture, My22BMI, was a B2C digital platform that offered customized meal plans for individuals with lifestyle conditions. At large technology companies, she has launched big-impact digital products focusing on new services and capabilities on consumer products (Alexa), applications (CapitalOne mobile App), and large-scale custom products in the Oil & Gas industry. She holds an MBA from Jones Business School (Rice), a Master’s degree in Engineering Management from Northeastern University, and a B.Tech in Engineering from India.