Savvy companies know the product development process does not stop after product launch – to capitalize on the total value created with a new product, a review should be conducted within the first few weeks post-launch and at pre-determined milestones thereafter. If the launch was a success, a post-launch review is an excellent opportunity to spot improvements to the product or generate ideas for new or complementary offerings for exploration. If the launch didn’t meet expectations, a post-launch review can serve as a valuable post-mortem, uncovering what went wrong and revealing key insights as to how the company can avoid another misadventure in the future.
Ongoing study of the product during the post-launch review also serves as an opportunity to explore the creation of new revenue streams and the maximization of existing ones. Want to make sure your company maximizes the return on a product launch review? Check out the top five questions all companies should ask themselves after a product launch:
1. How are customers using the product?
As soon as a product achieves a base level of users, companies need to determine how the product is being consumed. A well-planned product launch would have included customer needs studies during the product development phase, but a follow up study once the product is in the field is essential. Companies should look to answer these critical questions:
- Who is using the product?
- How are they using it?
- Why are they using it?
The answers to these questions can lead to new messaging, additional product support ideas, or feature enhancements.
2. Are we highlighting the product’s key selling points?
Message testing and customer satisfaction surveys can help assess the attributes of the product that resonate most with customers. Timely analysis of these factors can allow marketing and sales teams to update their messages and pitches early into the product launch. Keeping messaging fresh and relevant can increase the overall chances of the product’s success.
3. Who else would buy this product?
If you’ve launched a new product to an existing customer segment successfully, begin taking a look at adjacent markets to determine if the product could fill an unmet need there too. With the product performing well in its original market, companies have the momentum and buy-in from the sales team necessary to begin planting the seeds for expanding into a new market segment.
4. How can we make the product better?
By constantly adapting and improving a product, a company increases the product’s chances of long-term survival. Customer satisfaction studies can generate ideas for upgrades and product improvements, ensuring long-term adoption and product loyalty.
5. What other products should we add to our pipeline?
A new product launch is particularly effective for generating ideas for more new products. For example, when Apple created the iPod, it opened the market for all kinds of new products in the form of accessories: headphones, holders, car adaptors, docking stations, and more. By channeling early feedback from the market, companies can generate ideas for additional products or service offerings.
Want to learn more about the New Product Development process? Download the Research Brief: Mid the Gap: Critical Pitfalls in New Product Development for detailed insights on how to make your next new product launch a success.