New Product Launch Checklist

New Product Launch Checklist

Improving the effectiveness of new product launches is of critical importance to most companies and brands as development costs can be stratospheric, coupled with extremely high failure rates. Some estimates of new product failure as high as 90%! Certainly the new product development process is complex and multi-functional—not just marketing—but typically involving many departments such as engineering, operations, purchasing, executive management and others.

The scope of this checklist does NOT address the many product development processes. Rather, the focus of this New Product Launch Planning Checklist are the marketing activities required to improve product launch effectiveness. No question that different markets or product types will require vastly different new product launch approaches, and have different budget resources. So a New Product Launch Planning Checklist should allow for a range of market and budget scenarios. This planning checklist is based on a typical business-to-business (B2B) market scenario.


  1. Secondary Research (already published)
    • Internet search
    • Syndicated research studies
    • Data from category publications, associations, websites, databases
  2. Primary Research
    • Customer interviews (also sales personnel, channel partners)
    • Customer/Channel surveys
    • Focus Groups
    • Test Markets, Beta Tests
  3. Competitive Analysis
    • Patent research
    • Reverse engineering
    • Branding/positioning analysis
    • SWOT analysis
    • Pricing analysis
    • Market research to determine share, volume, channels
  4. Testing
    • Concept testing (interviews, focus groups)
    • Product evaluation (interviews, focus groups)
    • Copy testing (interviews, surveys or focus groups)


  1. Market Definition
    • Market segments
    • Customer identification (demographics, titles, units)
    • Channels
  2. Product Definition
    • Feature set, functionality, accessories
    • Prototypes
    • Competitive positioning (comparison, differentiation)
  3. Sales Objectives (Revenue, Volume, Margin)
    • Pricing (trade, discount schedules)
    • Cost analysis
    • Market share, other measures


  1. Branding
    • Re-branding, Sub-branding
    • Naming
    • Identity (logo, graphic theme)
    • Trademark search, trademark registration, identity standards
  2. Internet
    • Website development, re-development, microsites, landing pages
    • Search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM)
    • Social media (profiles, followers, blog and forum posts)
    • Email campaigns (landing pages, registration forms)
    • Webcasts, webinars, web conferences
  3. Advertising
    • Media (research, planning, placement, traffic)
    • Print (trade publications)
    • Online (banners, directories, Google AdWords)
    • Broadcast (TV, radio)
  4. Publicity
    • News releases
    • Press list
    • Press kit
    • Press events
    • Article (writing and placement)
    • Media relations
    • Distribution (internet, wire service)
  5. Sales Promotion
    • Programs
    • Training (sales, customer service, customers)
    • Contests, coupons, sweepstakes
  6. Collateral and Content
    • Brochures, product sheets, flyers
    • Catalogs, manuals, instructions, installation manuals
    • Educational pieces (white papers, guides, how-tos)
    • Electronic versions for web, re-purpose above for web
  7. Trade Shows and Events (national, international, regional shows, dealer open houses)
  8. Channel Marketing
    • Dealer or distributor programs
    • Promotions
    • Merchandising support, POP, packaging
    • Training programs
    • Launch kits
    • Retail line reviews
    • MDF and Co-Op programs
  9. Direct Marketing
    • Direct mail
    • Database marketing
    • List procurement, email, webcasts
  10. Photography and Video (supports all tactics above)

Be sure to share this checklist with others who are getting ready to launch a new product! Let us know what’s worked for you and if you have any additional check points that you go through.

If you have any questions, or want to find out more how Ideas BIG can help with your Product Launch, don’t hesitate to contact us or find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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