Product Launch

“Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” Thomas Edison.

Though innovation is a crucial for long-term competitiveness, success ultimately hinges on effective execution. It’s not enough to simply have an innovative idea, it’s imperative to bring it to life with a well-planned and well-executed strategy.

When Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble, authors of The Other Side of Innovation, surveyed executives in Fortune 500 companies to rate their organizations’ skills on a 10-point scale, participants overwhelmingly believed that their companies were better at generating ideas (average score of six) than at commercializing them (average score of one).

An important consideration is whether to launch on a rolling basis from one region to another, or to go global. Global launch provides for faster acceleration in sales and quicker ROI, which in turn can fuel further product development. Yet it is riskier and does require deeper pockets.

A rolling launch allows for savings in investment particularly for technology and consultancy companies, where service and support requirements are quite high. A core launch team can move from region to region, training personnel and supporting launch activities.

Besides delays in the return on investment, a key drawback with a rolling launch is that it gives competitors more time to analyse the new launch and respond with a counter strategy.

Launch Evaluation

Once a product is launched, marketers eagerly await sales and market share information to assess how well the product is received by consumers. They need to however remain cognizant that the early sales and market share readings for a new product do not reveal the product’s future performance, particularly in sectors like FMCG, where repeat purchase is critical to long-term success.

The initial sales data can be misleading. High product trials lead to a surge in sales during launch, prompting companies to ramp up supply. However, one must bear in mind that in addition to trial, a product’s success is determined by its ability to generate repeat purchases. Without consistent customer demand, a FMCG product will fail.

To evaluate the launch of a new FMCG product, companies must utilize analytical methods that evaluate both trial and repeat purchases. Such techniques include the TRB Share Prediction model, which can reliably predict market share based on the trial rate and the repeat buying rate (RBR).


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