As part of my current research on companies overruling customer power I’ve read an interesting study by Dr. Anthony Di Benedetto called “Identify the Key Success Factors in New Product Launch”. Though the study shows many interesting points both expected and unexpected there are a few ones that stuck with me more than others.
The one that stuck with me the most is the importance of the timing for the launch (i.e when the launch is conducted from the point of view of the company, the competition and the customer) is just as important as if al other tactical activities are performed. I found this especially interesting as I think that most timings of product launches are set to “as soon as the product” is finished. However, looking into apple and a few other companies their launching dates are set in on a certain time of the year. And the development and production has to be done by then. Quite interesting if more companies would try this philosophy, however, working with development myself, I have to say that few companies could actually pull it of in practice.
Playing with the idea I think it makes a lot of sense to try to do it reversed. The reason is that many business have their set “campaign” periods, fall sale, summer offers, christmas offers, spring sale, you name it. And because everyone knows that these are coming they plan their whole business around them. If we could put the same theory on product launches, we might see the same result. If everyone new that there was going to be a product launch in April (period!) next year, all the departments around the product development department could work for that, instead of “lets plan the launch, so we are ready when it’s time”.
Perhaps many companies do have this approach, they have just not managed to use if to the full extent. For once I know that on the yearly mobile fair numerous new products are presented. Yet few are in the market the day after. Same goes for the car fairs. Is this because of delays or bad planning or part of some strategi? Either or, I think they could work on this and see major improvements.