11-Step Product Launch Checklist
By Shreya Bose, Community Contributor - July 1, 2022
As strange as it sounds, having a solid product is only step one on a product launch checklist. You can have the most excellent product to offer, with features and offerings that far surpass anything your competitors provide. However, if the brand does not adhere to the qualitative steps outlined in the product launch checklist below, it may not get the market response and adoption it deserves.
This 11-step product launch checklist will discuss a few essential steps, actionable insights, questions, and testing metrics that must be included on any new product launch checklist. Let’s dive in.
Step 1 – Define Your Audience
- Always lead with what your customer wants
- Perform thorough market research to identify prospective customers’ pain points before blueprinting a product.
- Talk to 10 or 15 of your potential user persona groups, and ask what problems they face with their current tools or solutions.
- Get clarity on the exact issues they want to solve in an alternate product.
- Ask precise questions to extract specific answers as there is no such thing as too much data.
If you already have customers in the same domain using different products from your company, prioritize conversations with them. These individuals already value your services and will most likely purchase a new product if it meets their requirements.
Once you have all these vital data points, you can start creating buyer personas. This requires an in-depth understanding of customers’ requirements and challenges and is arguably one of the most critical steps on any product launch checklist.
Key Takeaway – Data visualization should be at the center of decisions regarding designing a product, what features to incorporate, and which areas to invest in. We cannot overstate the importance of this step.
Step 2 – Solidify Brand Positioning
Here’s what your brand positioning statement should be able to answer:
- Who is the product really for?
- What does the product exactly do or solve?
- Why is it different from other similar existing products?
Once you answer these, try diving a tad deeper and answer the following:
- Why is my target audience most likely to buy this product?
- How can I prove that this product is measurably different from its competitors?
- If my product solves multiple problems, which one is the most significant?
Once stakeholders have answered and approved these questions, you’ll know how to talk about your products in all sales and marketing collaterals. This is essential for building brand image and tone around the product.
Follow-Up Read: Syncing Business Analysis, DevOps, and QA
Step 3 – Set Realistic Goals
What results do you want out of your launch? Impression? Engagement (comments, shares)? Increased follower count? More inquiries about your product? Sales and signups?
- Set realistic goals to ensure that you don’t set your team up for failure.
- Success metrics should reveal how well launch campaigns are working and offer learnings for future campaigns and customer-facing practices.
Naturally, product launch checklists will start varying from this point on. Purchases will matter to the sales team, while clicks and impressions will matter to marketing.
Key Takeaway – Ensure your success metrics have been studied and approved by all stakeholders, so everyone knows what success will be based on their team functions.
Step 4 – Test Everything You Can
Before considering a product launch, you must ensure that the product is reasonably flawless. You won’t be expected to have every feature integrated and ready for public use, but ensure that the basic functionalities your customer will expect are in place and operating under different real-world conditions.
- Every feature you intend your customers to use must be sufficiently tested on real browsers, devices, and operating systems.
- Do not trust tests on emulators and simulators because they cannot entirely replicate real user conditions.
- Run your product through a gamut of tests meant for different scenarios.
- Ensure that the website or app can operate equally well across devices- browsers-OS combinations.
- Ensure the product is easily accessible and highly operable, irrespective of the user’s location, circumstances, preferences, or technology.
- Consider running tests in low network conditions, accessibility tests, and finally, geolocation testing
With GPS geolocation, you can simulate the exact location of any real device on BrowserStack. The ease and accuracy of geolocation testing capabilities on BrowserStack Real Device Cloud empower your product and QA team to deliver at the speed of agile.
Product launches these days tend to focus on key market regions and then expand as and when they gradually release feature updates and services. This is the smart way to ensure you’re delivering contextually and regionally accepted content.
Release with confidence, knowing that various location-based user flows will work correctly for customers in your target markets.
A few key resources to get you started in the world of testing:
Step 5 – Ensure Product Branding is On Point
Establishing flawless features of a product is half the battle. First impressions make a huge difference to modern customers because they are spoilt for choice. These key pointers are essential for your product designers.
- The product packaging must also convey the brand identity via design, color, images, illustrations, logos, fonts, and more.
- Pay close attention to the text on the packaging and the product itself.
- Ensure that it offers maximum clarity and avoids ambiguous or controversial phrasing.
- The product must also carry all necessary compliance and regulatory approvals, primarily if it caters to a global customer.
- Ensure your products appear they should online and offline. Real-life vs. smaller screen size viewing can baffle your users.
Follow-Up Read: How To Test Website in Different Screen Sizes
Step 6 – Recheck Logistics
Pre-launch, it is integral to double-check the product deliverability to target areas.
- Verify that there is enough supply to meet projected demand.
- Re-check that distribution channels are open and unhindered by any bottlenecks.
- Whatever your production pipelines, they should match up to sudden demand spikes.
Step 7 – Shape Your Go-to-Market Strategy
Roughly, your go-to-market strategy should include:
- A realistic launch date
- Branding elements to convey the desired impression – font, color, logo, captions
- Marketing avenues & spend budgets – social media, TV & radio advertising, blogs, Google Ads, etc.
- Promotional collaterals like sales decks and brochures
- Press Releases and Media Decks. Reach out to key journalists in the product domain to get the word out.
- The final approved design of the product packaging.
- Changes to the website with relevant updates regarding the new product.
Step 8 – Train Sales and Support Teams
Before amplifying your product release velocity, sales representatives should:
- Be trained to address customers about said product, highlight all its features and demonstrate them as required.
- Have access to updated sales materials about new features, market statistics, and other relevant information.
- Understanding the product’s nuances for helping users across phone calls, video calls, and chat.
- Have requisite technical documents – release notes, technical data sheets, onboarding guides, templates, FAQs – at hand.
Create dedicated channels for user feedback. They should be able to have their grievances heard and addressed as fast as possible, at least within industry-standard timelines.
Industry Study: Overcoming Problems While Developing eCommerce Websites
Step 9 – Finalize Product Documentation
A product launch must be supported by easy-to-comprehend user documentation:
- Installation and onboarding guides, reference documents, maintenance/training manuals, etc.
- For foreign markets, ensure that documentation has been translated into the correct languages.
- A series of quick start guides should be created and prepared for instant distribution.
- Even video/visual content for those who need in-depth acquaintance with all facets of the product.
Learn More: Core Practices for Visual Testing
Step 10 – Product Launch Day
Once you have run through all the previous steps in the new product launch checklist, launch your product. Prepare your team for the pressures of launch day by giving them clear, defined roles, so they are not overwhelmed by the inevitable barrage of customer questions and engagement.
For launch day, consider operating as part of the customer success team where you can personally offer support to new customers. Not only will this make for a better customer experience, but it will also help you get first-person insight into their reactions. It will also show early adopters how valued their opinions are to the company.
Step 11 – Evaluate Results
Once the numbers are in, you can study what went well and what didn’t. Be prepared to make last-minute adjustments to your marketing strategy if things don’t seem to go as well as expected.
As mentioned before, you should have metrics to assess the launch day’s success. Check which metrics denote success and which do not. For example, you generated as much awareness as you wanted, but initial sales were low. Once you have clarity on which goals were not met, you can regroup and use the learnings to rework the product launch plan checklist for future releases.
Detailed Study: Ensuring an Efficient Software Quality Process
A product launch is undoubtedly one of the most important events in any company. Every product represents (or ideally should) the company’s best foot forward. Enhance the efforts of your engineers, developers, product managers, & marketers with this actionable product launch checklist & key takeaways.
When adhered to, the steps above should give a solid foundation for any product release. Since most product launches require noticeable financial investment, it is best to incorporate as many best practices as humanly possible. Start with this article, and do industry-specific research to get the best out of your spending on product launch efforts.
Whether your product is a multi-experience app or a stand-alone website, always get it BrowserStack approved before a public release. Why?
A few reasons why your product team should consider BrowserStack infrastructure:
- Cross-Compatibility: BrowserStack’s Live real-device cloud platform allows you to test your app on a wide range of devices and operating systems to ensure a seamless user experience all across every possible device browser OS combination.
- Seamless User Experience: With such a wide range of test environments, you get the ability to recreate real user scenarios and device experiences.
- Consistent User Experience: With the automated visual testing tool Percy, you can validate changes at the level of UI across a range of devices, automatically.
- Managing App Versions: BrowserStack provides a platform that allows you to easily manage different versions of your app, ensuring that all of them are tested properly.
And that’s just for starters. Get onboarded to BrowserStack so that you and your team can rest easy on product launch days.