The Seven Keys to Building and Launching an Innovative Product

7 keys to launching a product[ PDF Download ]Most products and services just add to the noise. This checklist will ensure your ideas have the best chance of success, resonate with your customers, and have a lasting impact. 

Over 25-plus years of being in the innovation field, I’ve come to discover that there are seven keys to launching a new product, or service, that’s sticky. Sticky means it is built to last, your customers cannot get enough of it, they are referring your product, they are talking about your service and they repeatedly buy from you.  

 

The Seven Keys Include: 

  1. Be Disruptive: Create a new customer behavior or redefine a category.   New behaviors are new habits or actions, ones that are different than current market practices. Redefining a category is exactly that, creating new ways to think about the category. This may be expanding or changing the boundaries of category definition. Think Uber or Cirque du Soleil.
  2. Be Defendable: Create a moat around your business. Be where your customers are and where your competition isn’t. Be able to deliver your product or service in a novel way. Make it hard for the competition to copy or catch up to you. Think Infinite Monkey Winery in single-serve cans.
  3. Pain plus Symptom: Here’s the thing to remember, customers buy for the symptom, they stay for the pain. You go to the chiropractor because your back hurts but you stay because you get re-aligned, the root cause of the pain. You hire a sales team to improve revenue and stay with them because they fix your sales channels, which is what you really needed.
  4. Have a Familiar Handle: This is especially true if your product or service is super innovative and new. Make sure it has an element of familiarity,  a handle to hold onto that helps your customers understand how to think about, compare or even use your product. This is going to shorten the learning curve. Think Oatly Oat Milk. 
  5. Large Specific Ecology: Be niched enough that you can connect with your customers in incredible ways, but big enough to serve you as a business. Niche means people understand how to engage with you and you know how to provide meaning and value to them,  and large means enough of a market to sustain a business.  Think Crossfit.
  6. Real-World Input:  Be in constant communication with your customer, before and after launch. Let them help you evolve your product or service. Include them in your launch. Your customers will help make your idea a success.
  7. Create Champions:  Internal and external advocates that rave about you. Have ever met someone that won’t stop talking about a business or a brand they love? That’s what you want too.  They’ll do the marketing work for you. Think Tough Mudder