How to Announce the Release of a New Product
A new product release is the final stage in the product development process. A successful release helps an organization achieve an effective return on its investment in the new product and is therefore a critical element in the development process. A new product announcement must raise awareness and interest from the product’s target audience and make an impact in a crowded marketplace.
Identify internal and external audiences for the product announcement. Internal audiences include the sales force, customer service team and technical support staff. External audiences include customers and prospects, retailers or distributors, supply chain partners, investors and the media. Prepare a communications plan to reach each of the audiences.
Set a launch date. Aim to be first to market if you are launching a product that has no existing competitors. Monitor activity in the market to ensure your launch doesn't coincide with a competitor’s announcement. Avoid dates that clash with vacation seasons or important public events. Check the availability of advertising slots or important trade shows to provide a platform for your launch. Keep the launch date secret to avoid any countermeasures by competitors.
Hold a launch event for the sales force, retailers and distributors. Describe the market opportunities and the promotional support you will provide to launch the product. Use the event to motivate your sales channel and gain their commitment to the success of the launch. Incorporate product training into the event to ensure sales and channel teams understand product features, benefits and applications.
Issue a press release to the media. To prevent any announcements before your planned launch date, include an embargo on the release, such as “not for publication before 10 a.m. EST May 8.” Invite journalists and editors to a news conference if the new product represents a newsworthy event, such as the first product of its type on the market
Inform customers by email or via the sales force. Invite important customers to a launch event or briefing meeting for a demonstration of the new product. If the product is an upgrade or new version of an existing product, consider announcing the product in advance of its release date so customers can incorporate the new version in their own replacement plans. Target new prospects by running an advertising or direct-marketing campaign. Instruct your telemarketing team to let customers and prospects know about the new product.
Place information about the new product on your website and on social networks. Provide content on your website, such as photographs, videos and product information that visitors can review and share via social networks.