3 Steps to Ensure Your Next Product Launch Isn't a Flop

Donald Miller

Published: Apr 19, 2024

A new product can provide an infusion of cash into your business. But launching a new product can be a huge risk. It's easy to pour your heart, soul, and budget into a product only to watch it flop after the launch. 

So how do you make sure your product is a hit BEFORE you invest a lot of time and money into it?

Here are 3 critical steps every business owner should consider taking before moving forward with a new product launch. This will ensure that your investment of time and resources will pay off. 

Step 1: Optimize and innovate based on what’s working

Begin by evaluating your current product lineup. Identify your top performers and understand why they succeed. Are they solving a specific problem? Do they cater to a fundamental customer need? There are six fundamental customer needs that great products cater to, allowing businesses to charge a premium for them. 

Those needs are:

  1. Making Money: Products that help customers earn more are always desirable. Whether it’s through offering a business opportunity, like a franchise, or tools and services that boost profitability, like marketing and sales platforms, these products promise a tangible return on investment.
  2. Saving Money: Everyone loves a good deal. Products that save money, either through efficiency, longevity, or lower operational costs, offer immediate value. Think of solar panels that cut energy bills or subscription services that eliminate the need for frequent replacements.

  3. Reducing Frustrations: Life is full of challenges. Products that alleviate stress and streamline tasks can become indispensable. From organizational tools to services that take care of mundane tasks, these solutions bring peace of mind.

  4. Gaining Status: As much as we may hate to admit it, the desire for recognition and prestige is powerful. Luxury items or exclusive services that signal success or belonging to an elite group can do very well.

    Connecting with Others: Humans are inherently social. And they’ll pay good money for products that foster a sense of community, bring people together, or tap into a deep-seated need for connection and belonging.

    Simplifying Lives: Simplicity is a luxury. People love products that offer straightforward solutions to complex problems— think of an all-in-one service or an easy step-by-step plan.

If your top-selling products cater to one of these problems, make note of that. Use what you learn as a base for your new product idea. The aim is to create something that makes as much money as your best sellers, if not more.

When dreaming up your new product, consider how it aligns with the core needs and desires of your customers. Whether your product helps them make or save money, reduces their frustrations, elevates their status, fosters community connections, or simplifies their lives, it must offer a tangible solution to a real problem they face.

Also, think about how your product fits into the broader context of your customers' lives. Often, by packaging your product in a way that provides a comprehensive solution, you can significantly enhance its appeal. This could mean bundling products together, offering subscriptions, or creating package deals that provide a complete solution to a specific problem.

By focusing on these fundamental needs, you can create a new product that doesn’t just fly off the shelves but also makes a real difference in your customers’ lives.

Step 2: Validate your product with a Product Brief

Once you've identified the core customer needs your new product will address, the next step is to create a detailed Product Brief. This document is the backbone of your product's journey from concept to market, ensuring every team member is aligned with the vision and strategy. 

The Product Brief should address key questions such as:

  • What problem does this product solve?
  • How does it benefit the customer?
  • What is the core messaging for the product?
  • Is there a demand for this product in the market?
  • How does it compare to existing products?
  • What are the projected costs and revenue?
  • What is the timeline for the product’s development?
  • How will we sell and market this product?

Here’s an example of a Product Brief template:

Product Brief Template Page 1

Product Brief Template Page 1

Product Brief Template Page 2

Product Brief Template Page 2

Product Brief Template Page 3

Product Brief Template Page 3

This process not only aligns your team, it also introduces a healthy dose of skepticism. It's where you ask all the tough questions to see if your idea has what it takes to become a real product that people will buy. 

This step is extremely important because it can save you a lot of time and money by figuring out early on if your idea might not work out. If the numbers don't look good, like if it costs more to make than what people would pay for it, then it might be a sign to think of something else.

Another thing the Product Brief does is make you look at what you need to make the product happen. Do you have enough people, money, and time to do it right? If making your product means you can't focus on other important things, or if it's just too big of a project, it might not be worth going forward.

This step is a reality check you DO NOT want to skip.

Step 3: Develop a Clear and Compelling Message

The final step before launching your new product is to develop messaging that speaks directly to your customers' needs and problems. People are always on the lookout for solutions to those fundamental needs listed in Step 1.

So as you prepare to launch your new product, keep the focus firmly on the problem it solves. Your marketing efforts should highlight how your product makes your customers' lives better, easier, or more fulfilling. 

This is not just about listing features or technical specs. It's about connecting with your customers on an emotional level, showing them you understand their challenges and have created a solution just for them. Tell the world why your product matters and how it can make a difference for them. 

Remember to keep your message simple and strong. Don't use complicated words or jargon that could confuse your audience. Use easy, everyday language that helps people see the benefits your product offers. You want them to think, "Yes, this is exactly what I've been looking for!"

Read Create a Brand Message That Converts With the StoryBrand Framework to make sure the messaging for your new product is clear and compelling.

When it's time to launch, choose the right ways to spread your message so it reaches your audience. This could be through social media, email marketing, or ads. Your launch should get people excited and clearly tell them EXACTLY what to do next, whether that's signing up for more info or buying your product.

The 5 Parts of an Effective Sales Funnel will help you create a marketing plan to increase awareness and sales for your new product.

By keeping your message simple and focused on what your customers want, you're making sure your product has a great introduction. This approach helps you not just launch a product, but offer a solution that people will really want.


Launching a new product is a big undertaking for any business. It's not just about making something new and hoping people like it. You've got to be smart about it. 

By following these 3 steps, you will increase your chances of launching a product that exceeds your targets and expectations. Because you’re not just hoping for a great launch, you’re making a strategic plan for it.

Remember, the main goal is to ensure every product adds value to your brand, helps your business grow, and addresses your customers' needs.