What Should a Product Launch Checklist Include?
From showing your team how to sell the new product to ensuring accuracy and quality, here are 17 answers to the question, “What are helpful things to include on a product launch checklist?”
- Conduct Sales Training
- Measure the Process
- Make “How To” Instructions
- Check Your List and Check It Twice
- Implement a Thorough QA Process
- Include Gifts for Influencers
- Gather Customer Feedback
- Write a Positioning Statement First
- Don’t Forget About Testimonials
- Prioritize Stakeholder Awareness
- Use a Go-To-Market Strategy
- Assign Roles to Your Team
- Confirm Compatibility
- Have a Back-Up Plan for Feature Gaps
- Establish Your Launch Goals
- Perform Adequate Market Research
- Proofread All the Content
Conduct Sales Training
As you’re launching a product, make sure you include sales training on the checklist. If you have a sales team, they need to know how to position and sell the new SKU. Spending time with them in advance is crucial because if they feel uncomfortable, they’ll avoid selling the product or will resort to old talk tracks.
Measure the Process
This is something that I see companies forget all the time. The plan ends after the product launch without accounting for the measurements you will want to do afterward, both internally and externally, to ensure you’ve done the process properly.
This is a key step to ensure your next product launch goes smoother, as I’ve yet to see a product launch go off without a hitch regardless of how experienced the team behind it is. Figure out where your areas for improvement are by planning to look for them.
Make “How To” Instructions
Determine if you need instructions for the product. If so, how is it featured in the launch? Is there a written section that provides information, or is there a how-to video? Whatever it might be, ensure it’s easy for the consumer to locate. A consumer won’t buy a product they don’t know how to use, so make sure this is on your checklist.
Check Your List and Check It Twice
One specific thing to include on a product launch checklist is to ensure that the product has undergone rigorous testing and quality assurance procedures before its release. This includes testing the product’s functionality, performance, security, and compatibility with various operating systems and devices.
Thoroughly testing the product can identify and address any potential issues before the launch, minimizing the risk of negative customer experiences and reducing the likelihood of costly post-launch updates and fixes.
Implement a Thorough QA Process
One thing to include on a product launch checklist is to test the product thoroughly before launching it. This includes conducting a comprehensive quality assurance (QA) process to ensure that the product is fully functional and meets the expectations of the target audience.
QA testing should cover all aspects of the product, including its functionality, usability, security, and compatibility with different platforms and devices. This can involve testing the product in a variety of scenarios and environments to identify and resolve any issues before the launch.
Companies should survey the product before its release to guarantee it will work properly, preventing negative customer experiences and increasing the likelihood of a successful launch. Therefore, businesses should include product testing as a crucial item on the product launch checklist to ensure reliability and performance.
Include Gifts for Influencers
Launching a product is no small feat, and its promotion is often a collaborative effort involving influencers, experts, or others who can help spread the word and generate excitement around your new offering. That’s why it’s important to consider including gifts for these key players on your product launch checklist.
Influencers can be a powerful force in promoting a new product, thanks to their vast networks of followers and the ability to generate buzz and excitement. By partnering with influencers, you’re enlisting an army of advocates who help take your product closer to potential buyers and increase your brand exposure.
To make the most of this collaboration, it’s important to choose relevant and valuable gifts. This can include product samples, exclusive access, or personalized experiences tailored to the person’s interests and preferences. Adding a personalized note can also go a long way in showing your appreciation and building a strong relationship.
Gather Customer Feedback
A customer feedback strategy is essential to include on a product launch checklist. Gathering customer feedback from various sources, such as customer interviews, customer surveys, and reviews, can provide valuable insights that can make adjustments and improvements before the product launches.
This input can help shape marketing materials, customer service policies, and introductory pricing, helping to ensure the success of a new product launch. It should be actively sought every step of the way, from pre-launch through post-launch engagement.
Write a Positioning Statement First
Your positioning statement should be the first thing you do after taking the time to research your customer base. This statement should clearly and concisely answer a few major questions, such as who the product is for, what it does, what makes it different from competitors, etc.
This will guide your future decisions in putting the rest of your plan together and, speaking from experience, will act as a single source of truth during planning meetings.
Don’t Forget About Testimonials
Including testimonials is a crucial step in promoting a product launch. While the excitement may be high within the company, it’s important to bring in external enthusiasm and feedback.
Collecting customer testimonials before the launch can generate buzz and increase product promotion. Testimonials add credibility and assurance to potential customers, demonstrating that your product has been successful and has received the stamp of approval from others.
Prioritize Stakeholder Awareness
Every stage of your product, from market research and planning to development and deployment, requires the active input and participation of several stakeholders. These stakeholders play a significant role in the various stages of development and help you sign off on crucial checkpoints. Indeed, your launch blueprint would be incomplete without these stakeholders.
Therefore, offering stakeholder awareness the importance it deserves on your product launch checklist only makes sense. With their inputs and commitment directly affecting the quality and efficiency of your product, keeping them informed of adjustments and changes and helping them understand how their deliveries affect your product launch are crucial elements for success.
Use a Go-To-Market Strategy
Be sure to include a go-to-market strategy. When launching a new product, it’s important to know how you’re going to announce it to your customer base. How will you launch and promote it? Every basic go-to-market strategy considers your target audience, marketing plan, and sales strategy to ensure your launch is successful.
Assign Roles to Your Team
You can have the best marketing plans on your product launch checklist, but if your people are unclear about their responsibilities, then it will not be successful. That is why it is important to have the assignment of roles on it as well.
There are many aspects to a product launch, with some seemingly unrelated, while others appear to meld together, and this can confuse what is required and who will implement each action.
Therefore, taking the time to explain each action, assign team members each task, and delineate when they complete their responsibility and what the last result should look like is critical to streamlining the product launch process. In failing to assign roles, your team will be confused and will leave important actions incomplete, leading to a problematic product launch.
One key item to include in your checklist is to confirm product compatibility. Make sure all the product components are compatible with each other. If that component doesn’t go well with another product, then your launch could be a bust! A product launch checklist could save your bacon and help ensure a successful product launch.
Have a Back-Up Plan for Feature Gaps
Recently launched products are never at the end of their roadmaps, and subsequent features, fixes, and improvements are always on the horizon. There will inevitably be feature gaps, many of which your prospective customers are sure to notice.
A well-thought-out product launch checklist will therefore include pre-emptive responses to customer objections, accounting for the product’s weaknesses and showcasing its strengths. For example, if your product lacks a popular integration, think of early workarounds. If your product isn’t optimized for mobile, have explanations for why mobile use isn’t relevant.
Having pre-emptive answers for these objections keeps the tone positive, ensuring that early teething problems do not shut down the conversation immediately. Instead, grab the bull by the horns and face objections head-on, giving your product the best possible start.
Establish Your Launch Goals
A successful product launch journey begins with its ideation and ends only with the product’s success in its intended markets. In between are several crucial milestones—defining the target audience, identifying outreach and distribution channels, product testing, modification, and validation, laying out marketing and sales strategies, and more.
No matter how insignificant any of these components may seem at any point, they’re all equally important to meeting product and launch goals. And that’s why listing your launch goals is a critical step. When you have a list of goals, you will prepare accordingly. You will note challenges and setbacks, find solutions, plan for unforeseen road bumps, and ensure that every element lines up to create an optimal product launch journey.
Perform Adequate Market Research
It’s crucial to conduct market research before launching a product so you know exactly how to go about it in terms of the best way to package and market your product. Doing in-depth market research gives you the knowledge you need to make an informed decision and ensure you launch your product in the most impactful way.
Proofread All the Content
One important thing to include on a product launch checklist is proofreading all the content associated with the launch. This includes ensuring that all copy, from web page content to marketing collateral, is free of errors.
Check all the links to make sure they are working properly. They should finally review any visual content to ensure accuracy and quality. They can proceed with confidence with the product launch once they have checked these elements.
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