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You have a great new salad dressing, or pasta sauce, or dog shampoo – whatever it is, it’s great. Your partner says it’s great, your investors say it’s great, your mom says it’s great. Heck, even that one friend who has a hard time paying compliments says it’s great. 

You believe it’s ready to make a debut on the shelf, but exactly what is involved in making that happen? Developing a launch plan is the best way to ensure you make the most of your resources and position your product for ongoing success.

1 – Just start.

Even if you don’t have all of the numbers or dates nailed down, it is important to put something to paper in order to make the plan real. All plans are working plans so don’t worry about perfection at this point in your launch process.

2 – Do you have a brand?

First you have to ask yourself, do you know what goes into developing a truly ownable brand? A brand is more than just the logo or label even though they are important elements of a successful brand. A brand is the way a product, company, or individual is perceived by those who experience it. Carefully crafting this brand with your consumers and competitors in mind is key to communicating value and differentiation.

3 – Bring the brand to life.

Once your brand is defined, now begins the fun work of developing your brand story, voice, and visual assets that will work to tell your truth, including the logo, package and any other assets you need to make a splash.

4 – Develop a sales strategy.

Develop a relationship with a broker that has deep ties with the retailers in your launch markets. They know the competitive mix, the retailer’s preferences, and what it takes to get noticed by the buyers to get your product into that shelf reset.

5 – Develop a marketing plan.

Defining your budget, marketing channel mix, and success metrics are the first step. Once these are determined, the optimal mix to reach the target consumer can be dialed in. Be prepared to reinvest 20-30% of sales into marketing for the first two years to grow brand awareness.

6 – Lay the ground work.

Developing sales materials, printing point of sale, securing social channel handles, and developing a website are a few of the crucial boxes to check prior to your product hitting the shelf. Retailers will require you demonstrate you are creating pull in order for them to consider taking you on.

7 – Launch.

As your product hits the shelf, you must promote frequently, accurately, and most importantly according to plan. As mentioned earlier, all plans are working plans, so adjust your metrics, marketing channel mix, and messaging to meet the realities of the market as they present themselves.

8- Measure and optimize.

And then measure and optimize again. Once your brand has launched, the key to success in your market will rely on the optimization of your marketing tactics and evolution of your brand with its consumers.

A well-developed plan is key to success. This is nothing new in business, or in life. But making a plan to launch and promote a product successfully doesn’t always go in a straight line. Setting realistic goals, defining a D-Day early, and having the flexibility to react quickly to challenges to your plan will mean a world of difference in a world of consumers that are changing every day.

ArchPoint Creative’s trusted Brand Building Process covers all the bases previously mentioned. Our team of marketing professionals will work alongside you to ensure your brand has a well-developed plan with defined goals, objectives, and success metrics.