Whether your firm is launching a new fun app, a breakthrough medical device, or a new vehicle model, the success of the product launch will greatly depend on a well-conceived corporate communications plan.
Many corporate communicators spend months in advance developing the key messages, identifying the right media channels, and integrating their social media, PR, advertising, and digital marketing plans into one coherent corporate communications plan for a product launch.
And for many marketers, there’s nothing as nerve-wracking as a product launch particularly in today’s ultra-competitive business world. Competitors are always looking at how to trump each other’s products in the market; and branding has become more challenging thanks to ever-changing markets and ever-growing communication outlets.
A product launch corporate communications plan isn’t something that’s drawn up overnight. It requires careful planning and preparation over months. It can be segmented into the following phases:
- Initial planning
- Launch Day
In coordination with various units in the company like product development and branding and communications, the initial planning for a product launch happens three to six months before the launch dates. In this stage, everyone will sit down to discuss details like the objective of the product launch, the type of customer that the product will cater to, objectives of the launch, and metrics to be used to measure the success of the campaign.
The pre-launch happens around three to two months before the actual launch date. During this stage, the team is developing strategies to hype the launch. The “buzz” should not only be focused on the target market, but also internally or including the employees of the company behind the product.
The launch day, of course, is the day when all the months of preparation and hard work will come together.
The post-launch is when the team uses metrics to monitor launch performance, gather feedback from clients and sales partners, and establish plan to sustain lead generation.
For corporate communicators, the launch day is the most important stage so they exert all efforts to draw up a corporate communications plan that can maximize the exposure for the product and consequently make it more known to the target market.
Strategies of communication
One of the best ways to ensure that a new product gets the much-wanted publicity is to create a story that resonates with the target consumer. The story should stick; meaning it will differentiate the product from its competitors as well as from previous versions, if any.
Moreover, the story should tell the target buyer what the product is, and why the consumer should buy the said product. A story that is well-told and captures every single important feature of the product can then be the basis of key messages incorporated in other promotional materials such as the press release.
The press release is usually distributed before and after the product launch. It should capture the essential details of the product launch, and serve as a background for journalists to write their own material about the event and the product itself.
Integral to the distribution of the press release is identifying the media outlets where the product can get substantial exposure. Corporate communicators should understand how certain media channels treat brand-related press releases, and customize their media releases accordingly.
Finally, corporate communicators should be ready to ship the product to key journalists and even bloggers to get reviews. They should realize that their product will undergo intense scrutiny from these journalists. Once the good reviews start to come out, corporate communicators must then share the links on their company’s social media channels.