22-Step Product Launch Checklist (Includes Bonus Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated February 22, 2021 | Published December 7, 2020

Updated February 22, 2021

Published December 7, 2020

If you're preparing to launch a new product, you should use a product launch checklist to ensure the launch goes as smoothly as possible. A product launch checklist is invaluable since it ensures you remember each key step during the process. Reviewing a product launch checklist can help you create one for your own purposes.

In this article, we discuss what a product launch checklist is and why it's so important, and we share 22 checklist items as well as additional tips to help your launch go smoothly.

What is a product launch checklist?

A product launch checklist is a list of action items that need to be completed in order to successfully release a new product to consumers. It helps you think through the steps, processes and assets that you and a team need to complete prior to any product launch.

Why is a product launch checklist important?

There are a few reasons why a product launch checklist is important:

  • Ensures you remember everything: One of the main benefits of a product launch checklist is that it ensures you remember each important step and every asset when you're in the process of releasing a new product. It makes it easy to focus on your overall objective while still keeping track of key details.

  • Helps you prepare for unforeseen situations: By using a product launch checklist, you are fully prepared and better positioned to handle any unforeseen situation that could occur, including mistakes.

  • Allows for better teamwork: Because an entire team has access to the same product launch checklist, it helps them work together more cohesively. Each member of the team knows what they're responsible for on that list, as well as what their teammates are responsible for. The product launch checklist can therefore help to reduce the likelihood of duplicate efforts.

  • Makes tasks more manageable: Product launch checklists also break larger responsibilities into more manageable tasks, making it easier to distribute responsibilities within a group.

Product launch checklist

Here is a look at a product launch checklist that you could use within your own business:

1. Perform market research

The first step you should take when launching a product is to learn what motivates your customers and what pain points they're experiencing that would lead them to want to find a product to resolve it. This information can help you develop a product to meet those needs.

An easy way to perform market research is to contact 10 to 15 of your current or prospective customers. When you're speaking to them, ask about any pain points they might be experiencing or if there are any products that they wish were available to address a specific need. If they do mention pain points or a product they wish was available, ask them to give you more specific or additional information about that.

When you're done speaking to your current or potential customers and fully understand their challenges, you can then create a buyer persona, a research-based profile that describes a target buyer for the product you're going to launch.

2. Create your positioning statement

The next step you need to take is to create a positioning statement. Your statement needs to be able to explain who the product is for, what it does and why it's different than other products on the market. You could even go into greater detail with your positioning statement, such as describing your target audience, naming the product category that your product is within or even including proof that your product is different.

3. Present to stakeholders

After developing a strong positioning statement for your new product, you need to present it to key stakeholders within your company, such as executives, managers or even your product development team who are responsible for creating the product you want to offer to customers. If the key stakeholders and employees on your team love the product idea, it's a good sign that a product will be well-received by consumers.

4. Develop a go-to-market strategy

Once you have the buy-in from your team and key stakeholders, the next step is to develop the strategy that you're going to use when launching and promoting the new product. Research different go-to-market strategies, such as a funnel strategy and a flywheel approach. As you develop your strategy, think of the type of content that you want to use throughout each stage of the purchasing process, as you will need to create content prior to your launch.

5. Develop a media plan

It's important to have a media plan in place prior to launching. Media planning is the process of identifying how, where and when you will share media with your target audience. Keep in mind that you only have one opportunity to successfully launch a product, so you need to make the most of any buzz you can create around the launch.

6. Assign roles for the team

As you develop your strategy, it's important to assign key responsibilities for each person on your team to ensure everyone knows what they're responsible for and when they need to complete their responsibilities. Assigning specific responsibilities to team members ensure that no efforts are duplicated.

7. Consider bonuses

You may want to consider offering bonuses to people who are early adopters of your product. A special offer can make a big difference in encouraging people to try out your product when it first launches. If you do want to offer a special bonus to early adopters, identify what that will be so you have an abundance of time to create it.

8. Choose a day for the launch

It's important to choose the right day and time for launching your new product. First, consider whether the business is seasonal. After that, you need to pick the best day for launching. Research shows that Tuesday is often the best day of the week for launching products. You should also select the right hour in the day. For example, you may want to ensure your entire team is available to answer calls, ship products immediately or resolve unexpected complications that could arise.

9. Communicate launch details to stakeholders

It's important to communicate details about the launch, such as your method of promotion and the date and time for the launch, to key stakeholders. If you want them to take specific actions at this time, such as sharing content on social media or emailing customers, you should communicate this information with them as well.

10. Check with your support team

Make sure your customer service team knows the time and date for the launch. You should also confirm that you have the support in place to handle a sudden increase in calls and that the customer service team is knowledgeable about the product so they can answer customer questions.

11. Set a goal for your launch

It's important to set a SMART goal for the launch, one that's specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. The goal of your product launch, for example, may be to build awareness, create sales or even just establish a new name for your product.

Read more: SMART Goals: Definition and Examples

12. Create promotional content

After developing a strategy and identifying your goals for the launch, you need to create content that supports that goal. Your promotional content could include blog posts, tutorials, landing pages and social media images and written posts.

Read more: Marketing's Promotional Mix: Definition and How To Use It

13. Create a press release

A press release is a great way to capture media attention and generate buzz around your upcoming product launch. However, it's important to keep in mind that journalists receive an abundance of press releases every month, so your needs to be written in a way that will catch the attention of anyone who sees it.

Read more: How To Write a Press Release (With Template and Examples)

14. Reach out to key journalists

If there are key journalists who may be particularly interested in what you're about to launch, identify them and then reach out with information about what you're launching and what makes it unique. Be sure to include key information like the time and date of the launch.

15. Perform testing

It's important to spend time testing at least several days prior to your launch. Give yourself ample time for testing so that if you do discover problems, you can resolve them well in advance of the launch. In addition to testing the product itself, you should also test the process of adding the product to the shopping cart and going through the checkout. The goal should be to have a checkout process that's as easy for potential customers as possible.

16. Launch internally

A great way to test to ensure everything works well is to launch your product internally first. The more employees you have go through the checkout process, the more likely you will be to identify technical problems.

17. Communicate externally

The more buzz you can create on the day of your launch, the more successful it will be. For this reason, you should consider reaching out to friends and family and encouraging employees to share the launch with their own friends and family.

18. Engage your audience on social media

You should start to create buzz with your own social media audience prior to your launch. For example, you could start talking about the pain point your customers are facing. You could also just start sharing posts that talk about an upcoming release and get people excited about how it will improve their lives.

19. Prepare to fulfill orders

One question you need to ask yourself is whether you're prepared to fulfill customer orders if the demand is high. Before you launch, make sure you have the necessary inventory and business infrastructure in place to meet your customer's demands. You should also have a plan in place in case you do run out of inventory.

20. Send your press release

As a general rule, it's a good idea to issue a press release three to five days before you want the media coverage to appear. Using this information, you can determine when the best date would be for distributing the press release. If you're using your own personal database for distributing the press release, be sure to blind carbon copy (Bcc) the recipients.

21. Launch your product

After completing the steps above, it's time to launch your product. You may want to consider integrating yourself into the customer service team at the time of the launch, offering your support to those initial customers personally. This can help you gain insight into your customer's reactions and learn what they think about your product and launch. It also shows these early adopters that your company values them and their opinions.

22. Evaluate the results

The final step you should take when launching a product is to evaluate the results of the launch afterward. If you notice that you aren't getting the results you want, you should be prepared to make adjustments to your plan to improve the results. Also, evaluate how well you achieve the goals you set for the launch. For example, if your goal was to generate awareness and you accomplished that, you were successful, even if your initial sales were low. If your launch didn't meet your goals, you may want to evaluate the strategy and make adjustments for future product launches.

Tips for a successful product launch

Here are some additional tips you can use to increase the likelihood of a successful product launch:

  • Check-in with key stakeholders regularly to provide updates on the launch and ensure all questions are answered.

  • Communicate regularly with your product team, since they may have insights that could impact your marketing strategy.

  • Focus your marketing messages on how your product can benefit your customers.

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