As with anything, to launch a product you need a plan. A good framework to go by is one defined by the acronym – SOSTAC, which this blog aims to summarise below.
S. Situational Awareness – where are you now?
You can do a SWOT analysis on your new product/service, what are its strengths and weaknesses, what are the opportunities? What are the threats from external sources? Trends that might affect it, competitors that might.
O. What are your objectives with regards to launching your new product?
What do you hope to achieve in the first year? How many do you want to sell? What are your promotional objectives?
S. How are you going to get there? What is your strategy? What are your key messages?
What do you know about your target audience? What challenges will this product or service aim to solve? What are its USPs? What objections might your customers have about buying it or buying it from you? What are the alternatives to your product? Build this into your marketing messages.
Business A supplies car body shops with spray booth technology. After years of conversations with their customer, they have established a common problem, lighting.
Many of their customers seem to have difficulty finding suitable lighting to help them carry out a good spray repair job on vehicles. Obviously it is important to get this right, high precision work requires a high precision environment.
So the company has designed a solution to the problem and they now want to launch their new lighting system into their existing customer base. How should they go about it?
Gender: Predominantly male 40 – 60 years old
Job Title: Facilities Manager/Director, Operations Manager/Director, Body Shop Manager, After Sales Manager, *Supply Chain Manager, Procurement Manager *can often be women
Stage of life: Married, kids, homeowners, appreciate work/life balance, holidays, grandkids.
Interests: Engineering, ‘how stuff works’, innovation, science, next generation.
They need their facility to be optimal. They work in an environment where lighting matters because they do high precision work of some kind.
It is important to get right; it may be safety critical so they can’t afford mistakes. They want efficiency, a good working environment for their staff to work in and they want a high-quality finish.
They may need to refurbish their facility but are worried about the downtime and cost. They are currently having to change light fittings frequently which already means downtime, so they don’t want to make it worse.
They need a solution that they can fit and forget. They don’t want to spend their time worrying about it, they would rather let someone else do that.
They have light inconsistency and struggle with shadows in working areas. There is often no access to natural day light. What they manufacture is quality and safety critical, so they are process driven and precise. They want to ensure their customers are suitably impressed with the end product.
Where do they get their information from to make a decision?
They get their information from Google and may use keywords such as;
Workshop lighting, factory lighting, warehouse lighting, facility lighting, energy efficient lighting, energy efficient LEDs, bodyshop lighting, LED lighting for bodyshop repair centres, daylight lighting, high output lighting, precision lighting, ergonomic lighting, automotive spray shop lighting.
Why might they object to using this new product?
They might be influenced by price, suppliers reputation, how it looks, performs, the cost to them and turnaround time.
Some of the main points highlighted can then be woven into marketing messages:
Having problems with your facility lighting?
Constantly replacing light fittings costs you time and money and, with the wide variety of lighting options available in the market today, how do you know you’re picking the best one for your operation?
We can help. We are specialists in high-end, precision lighting systems suitable for precision work. With 25 years of experience in the automotive industry, we know first-hand how critical lighting is in order to remain productive and achieve a high-quality finish.
Our LED lighting is the cutting edge of lighting systems available today. With a broader angle of view and consistent colour temperature, you benefit from reduced shadowing and true day light equivalent light output.
Our lights come with a 5-year warranty and expected life of up to 100,000 hours flicker free and the best part is they use 17% less energy than typical LED lights.
Who wouldn’t want to fit and forget?
What do you notice about the message above?
- It uses the same words that are highlighted in the customers’ profile such as ‘fit and forget’.
- It highlights that we understand their concerns about downtime and objections over costs
- It has reassured them about your reputation by telling them you’re very experienced
- It has confirmed the relevance of your solution by telling them it is for precision work
- It has highlighted one of their main concerns/pain points – daylight and shadowing
- It has reassured them about the performance of the product and informed them of a warranty
This message has tapped into their exact problem, told them what the solution is and what benefit the customer stands to gain from it.
You need to keep in mind your budget throughout the planning stage, because if at any point the project is looking to exceed your budget, you might have to chop and change some of the elements to account for that.
T. What tactics are you going to use?
How will you price the new product? Is there going to be an introductory price and then a hike once it’s established or are you going to price it at a premium from the outset? People’s connotations with price and value, might link low price with low quality, so be mindful of this when you are setting your pricing.
How will the new product be delivered? Will you sell directly to the end user or will you use intermediaries? Will it be available to buy online, what needs establishing to make this work?
How will the product be packaged? Have you got packaging design? Does it have it’s own branding?
How will you promote it? How does it fit into your top level marketing plan? What content can you produce that supports it’s features and benefits? Will you use email marketing? Do you have a database of contacts you can target? Does it need it’s own page on your website? Specific imagery?Testimonials from trial customers? All important things to think about and plan out.
A. What’s your action plan?
Develop your project plan with key milestones so that you can keep track and be on schedule for your launch date.
Keep an eye on what is working and what is not working, try out lots of different things, you will quickly figure out what is wasting your time and what is worth the investment.
Wishing you lots of luck with your exciting new product launch, if you need any more tips or guidance, The Design Grove has lots of experience in pulling together marketing plans for new and existing products. Contact Gillian on 07739007254.