– Kate Berg
When a new product is launched, who do you think learns about it first? If you said the external customers, you’d be wrong. Before the external customers ever hear about a new product, the INTERNAL customer needs to be informed first.
Who exactly is the internal customer? Your employees and fellow team members. Why should they be fully informed of the product launch first? For starters, if they are not on board with a new product launch, the likelihood of its success is low. Without the knowledge of and commitment to a new product, your team will not be able to effectively communicate it to the external customer. Your team also needs to be able to digest the whole concept and know its requirements. They need to know what they must do in order to prepare for the new product launch.
The article titled “Launching a New Product” asks, “Why should [a company] spend money on an internal launch when it’s the customer base which will determine the product’s success?”
In answer, the author states that internal communications are vital to the success of a new product. “For a product to succeed, you must obtain the necessary internal support and resources. This requires the commitment of the management team, as well as that of the people who will be responsible for designing, producing, marketing, selling, and distributing the product. Internal communication is a key contributor to success.”
Before a product is released to customers, the internal team must be fully aware of the product and be completely committed to its success. They must be aware of the scope and benefits so they can contribute accordingly.
According to the article, the purpose of an internal launch is to “highlight the strategic importance of the product and to develop a high level of interest before the product is introduced to the customer.”
The article goes on to describe one effective way to get everyone involved in the launch process and make sure they understand the product. Assemble and distribute a launch guide. This launch guide would include several sections and answer any potential questions your internal audience may have.
1. Background information
- What is the product?
- How does it affect current customers?
- How will it attract new customers?
- How does it fit into the company strategy?
2. Features and Benefits
- Features of product
- Benefits of using product
- Available training
- Product support
3. Description of Launch
- Explain launch event
- Details of advertisings and promotions
- Level of support available
4. Outline of Launch Schedule
- Individual launch events
- Inventory and ordering details
- Advertising campaigns
- Customer events
In essence, a product launch will fail if it does not have the support and understanding of the internal team. They must first be fully aware of the new product before it ever reaches the ears of the external customer. Don’t make the mistake of skipping these vital internal communications!
For more details, see the full article “Launching a New Product”.