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Domenick Celentano

What are the top 5 things a small business should know before launching a new product?

By September 7, 2012

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I read a post  on one of my social sites that said "With 7 successful SKUs, we're now interested in adding a few more items to the list. We want to make sure we're not overlooking anything so what are your suggestions for the top things to consider?"

Well, I responded that new product launch is far more complex than giving just the top 5 things... I can tell you this from 35 years of experience building brands. There are no magic bullets in being successful in launching a new food product. Everyone wants the Top 5 or the Best of or How to... there is no magic bullet. Just great marketing strategy and execution is needed for a successful food brand launching for the first time or adding new products to the brand.

New Product Launch Stage Gate

click on image for larger view

New Product Launch Stage Gate ModelOK, so having said that the steps for New Product Launch according to Schneider Associates are...

          • Advertising, PR, Communications selection
          • Promotion Plan
          • Distribution, Channel Management
          • Execution of communications and promotion
          • Tracking Your Results within your Critical Evaluation Period

OK so these might seem a bit Academic but they are the steps so let me add what I will advise food clients looking to launch new products.

Critical New Product Launch Issues

Here are critical issues I advise clients in the new product launch development and gave the to the person asking the question.

What is the market need your current products provide? How are you differentiated from your competition?

Why did the buyer give you shelf space for your existing 7 sku's? Can you develop why you were successful getting on the shelf? (by the way, taste is not the sole factor in retail)

When pitching your products what are the Merchant issues and the Marketing issues you address to motivate the buyer to slot your products?

Are you launching product line extensions of your existing products or are you venturing into a new category?

What are the market trends that support launching more products? Shelf space is harder to obtain than ever before so you need some solid trends to support more sku's... since when your brand goes in, something has to come out... it is called de-listing.

Send me your new product questions to feature here on food and beverage.


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