Bringing a new product to market is exciting! But it also takes a lot of planning. A strong go-to-market strategy is key to launching your product successfully. Follow this 9-step framework to develop a bulletproof plan.
But it also takes a lot of planning.
A strong go-to-market strategy is key to launching your product successfully.
Follow this 9-step framework to develop a bulletproof plan:
1. Define your target customer
Who exactly are you creating this product for?
Before you make any other marketing decisions, you need to understand your ideal customer inside and out.
Grab a notebook and pen.
Spend some time thinking about and writing down the answers to these questions:
- What’s their age range? Are you targeting teenagers, young professionals, retirees?
- What gender are they? Is your product geared more toward men, women, or both?
- What’s their income level? Are they on a tight budget or do they have more disposable income?
- What job or industry are they in? How does their work impact their needs?
- Where do they live? Urban areas? Suburban neighborhoods? Rural towns?
Really visualize who your ideal customer is, from their demographic info to their hobbies and habits.
The goal is to understand what they value so your is a must-have for them.
Random products (most of the time) aren’t money-makers.
2. Identify the specific problem you solve
Now examine the exact problem your product solves for these customers.
How does it make their lives easier or better?
Your product should relieve a pain point or fill a clear gap for your defined audience.
For example, a new kitchen gadget may reduce prep time for busy moms.
Figure out the pressing issue your product addresses.
And make sure to run your ideas by real potential customers!
Ask them if they actually experience this problem and would buy your solution.
Don’t rely on guesses – go straight to the source.
3. Research what competitors are doing
Next, investigate both direct and indirect competitors in the market.
- What products are they selling?
- How are they marketing to customers?
- What brands seem popular and why?
Look closely at their positioning, pricing, and products.
Figure out what’s working well in their strategy and what gaps exist.
Learn from successful approaches, but don’t just copy them outright.
Research helps inspire ideas you can model with your own unique twist.
4. Define your product’s unique value proposition
Now summarize why your specific product stands out from the crowd.
- What key benefits does it offer that competitors don’t?
- How does it better solve your customer’s problem?
Your value proposition is a short, compelling statement that highlights your product’s competitive advantage.
“No more late interviews. Our kitchen gadget chops meal prep time in half for busy parents.”
Make sure your value prop resonates with your audience and gives them a clear reason to choose you over other options.
5. Pinpoint your target market
It’s time to narrow down the specific market segments you’ll focus your marketing and sales efforts.
The more precise you can be, the better.
Potential factors to consider:
- Age range
- Income level
- Hobbies & interests
The goal is to identify specific consumer groups based on shared characteristics.
For instance, “active high school athletes in suburban areas.”
6. Create a branding strategy
Now develop your brand identity and messaging.
This includes your:
- Brand name
- Color palette
- Tone & voice
Make sure your branding aligns with your product’s positioning and value proposition.
All elements should work together to convey a consistent message to your target audience.
7. Set competitive pricing
There are 3 steps to choosing a competitive price:
- Consider your product costs.
- Look at competitor prices for similar products.
- Determine the monetary value your product delivers to customers.
Don’t just compete on price alone.
Offer something unique that justifies a higher price point, like:
- Quality materials
- Innovative design
- Superior functionality
Give customers ample reason to invest in your product.
8. Select sales & distribution channels
Carefully choose sales and distribution channels based on your target audience’s preferences.
- Your own ecommerce site for control and margins
- Marketplaces for easy distribution at lower margins
- Physical stores to showcase products
- Distributors to scale manufacturing but reduce profits
- Pop-ups for engagement
Evaluate costs, effort and benefits of each approach.
Marketplaces offer easy distribution but reduce margins from commissions.
Physical stores allow product demonstrations directly to customers.
Distributors help scale manufacturing quickly.
A multi-channel strategy exposes more buyers to your product.
9. Forecast realistic sales
Creating achievable sales projections is crucial for proper planning and budgeting.
Take these steps:
- Research the total addressable market – The total number of buyers for products like yours. Use market data or work backward from a broader industry size.
- Estimate conversion rates – The % of site visitors that will actually purchase. Start conservative at 1-3% for new products without existing data.
- Review competitor sales – See what similar products sell to inform your projections. Account for differences in branding, features, pricing.
- Account for seasonality – Certain products sell better during specific times of the year. Is there higher gift demand during holidays?
- Build in a margin of error – Pad projections by 10-20% to account for unpredictable factors. Better to under-promise and over-deliver.
- Iterate as you gather data – Refine sales forecasts monthly and quarterly based on real purchase trends. Tweak marketing accordingly.
Conservative early estimates help secure proper funding and inventory.
Expand projections as you gain market traction.
Bringing a product to market takes work, but it doesn’t have to be.
When data comes, refine and double down on what works.
And follow this 9-step framework to the tee.
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