Rocket Fuel

In a previous blog, we talked about how launching isn’t just for new products. In fact, anything can be launched as long as it’s worth the time and effort.

But what kind of time and effort are we talking about, exactly? Over nearly 30 years and countless launches, we’ve learned there are six essential elements that you need to have in place, in order for a launch to have a decent chance of success. They are:

Pick your Launch Leadership Team
The first thing on your list is set up a cross-functional team with members from several departments. The variety is important, because you want the benefit of different perspectives and experiences. Most important, though, is that team members are open and honest, and ready to serve as your biggest launch evangelists throughout the company.

Define your success metrics
After your team is set, the next task is to align on what success looks like. That’s right—how do you know if you’ve succeeded? Basic question. There is no standard, set definition for this, but typically a combination of hard and soft metrics is going to be most relevant and actionable for your team. These KPIs are the compass that guides you as you plan and build momentum going forward.

Set up a gated launch process
Launching is about gaining the market momentum needed to break through internal and external market barriers. That’s why you need to follow a set of fundamental best practices to guide your aim, align your team, and shape your communications. Having a well-defined, gated process will set you up for success in a complex, commoditized landscape.

Begin early
All of this pre-work needs to happen early in the process. This is important because it builds alignment from the start, helping prevent early missteps that can delay or derail you later. It also gives your launch team the opportunity to have ownership in key decisions, and the runway to be fully invested in the project’s success.

Get customer insight
The only perception that matters is your audience’s perception. So make sure you are implementing their insights in everything from business goals to creative concepts and external messaging. This ensures you’re delivering what the people who count the most really want.

Launch internally first
You want everybody in your company to be singing from the same sheet when it comes to your launch. Everybody should be saying the same thing, delivering the same messages. Complete, rock-solid alignment is key. That’s why it’s so important to launch internally first. That gives everyone the chance to understand the new initiative and prepares them to be its champions once it’s out in the world.

Want to know more about how these 6 steps are crucial to launch? We’d love to help.

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