No matter if your product is a radical innovation or a me-too product, you should really be different (economical, more premium, tastier, much better, fewer, etc). Bear in mind that the #4 law (of Al Ries and Jack Trout's The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing) says that it’s more important what consumer perceives of your product than reality.
In the CPG Markets, there are tons of references in a typical store and you ought to be able to communicate that your offer is NEW using optimal packaging, design and POP.
3.-Sales reps ownership:
A new product will never achieve the right shelf space or get complimentary exhibitions because it’s new… Your sales force it’s an important piece in the early results stage, so you will have to involve them and get them enthusiastic about the launch.
- Create an event: Sales guys like to feel important, encourage their trust.
- Create a challenge: the better they do, the better your results, little prices.
- Inform them: Give your sales force sufficient information so they can be ingenious, gain spaces and be ambassadors of your product.
It’s less challenging to succeed if your product is sold where your consumer is buying… this is only possible with the effort of your sales force. It’s important because if you don’t have sufficient ND, ATL Advertising is a waste of money and could lead to consumer anxiety; if you don’t promote, you will hardly get your product rotation to optimum levels.
5.- Point of Sale Support:
How many consumers do you think buy on “automatic mode”? (plenty) Do you think they inspect every product on the shelf before choosing one? (rarely). You should get the consumer’s consideration so designing an impactful POP and use them wherever possible is a success strategy. Consider that proper scheduling before launch is essential to see an impact on sales.
6.- Consistent Message:
If you’re using a couple of tools of communication and you most probably are (package, POS material, ATL, PR Event, etc) you ought to ensure that each channel offers precisely the same benefits regardless of the media. One clear message is more effective than several competing benefits (Law of focus #5 – Owning a word on consumer’s mind).
7.- P.R. Event:
If you’re launching a radical innovation, you should employ Public Relations to help your product come to life. If you have your objectives clear, a PR event can come up with the crucial buzz for the product to become trendy. Word of advice, don’t be cheap with the invitation nor the souvenir, they are key to success. ALWAYS include a product sample and if you’re selling a co-dependent product, also include the required equipment (unless it’s widely available)
8.- Generate Awareness:
You will need for consumers to be aware of your product to be successful; thus you’re investing in some ATL. This is the time to “put the fish in the table” don’t keep some funds for the extra shot, this is the occasion to get results, whether Reach (if you have an impactful ad) or repetition (if your benefits are common). This is probably the time to do a free-trial to obtain some word-of-mouth.
9.- Inventory management:
Breaking the flow of spanking new products to the end consumer is an issue a few brands are allowed to err (Apple). You’re probably not exempt to this, so Try to best forecast your early sales and be certain that an un-forecasted over-demand can be met within a couple of days of the launch (you could shed the launch inertia). If you need to over produce at first, it’s OK even if you have to dispose some product (but avoid this if possible).
Make sure you know your timings, be consistent and stick to them… This is potentially why most launches fail. You can use the STAGE-GATE process to keep record of everything that’s occuring and what to do next. Remember, good planning is better than good improvising.